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How a film’s pitch sounds to another person, regardless of the pitch’s inherent quality, can rely entirely on the lead actor or actress involved. The 2008 comedy Yes Man was fine, I guess, but it had a pitch that seemed to fit soundly into Jim Carrey’s wheelhouse, and it was made better because of it, since the writing of Jarrad Paul, Andrew Mogel and Nicholas Stoller was par for the comedic course. So given Paul and Mogel have written their own directorial debut, which tackles both Hollywood and high school reunions, it would take a certain kind of someone to lead what could become a complete farce.
In steps Saturday Night Live’s Bill Hader, who is in talks to take the lead in the tentatively titled Lawless. The film was initially called 20-Year Itch, which makes a lot more sense given the title refers to an actual 20 year time span, and because there was already a movie called Lawless that came out last year. But anyway, picture Bill Hader in this role and see how you feel about it.
He would play a high school reunion committee chairman in a Middle America town who will do whatever it takes to get his high school’s most popular student back for the 20-year reunion. But then he has to go to L.A., since the popular guy is now acting in commercials, and the chairman enters into the weird world of celebrities. Hader seems fit for this kind of role, though this entire half of the story sounds sketchy regardless of the performer. I already rue the cameos.
While Hader’s film career is off and on due to his TV schedule, he’s got a huge list of projects coming in the next year or so, including Maggie Carey’s The To-Do List, a returning voice role in Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, a reunion with Kristen Wiig in Craig Johnson’s dramedy The Skeleton Twins, as well as appearing in both of Ned Benson’s The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby films.
Lawless, or whatever it ends up being called, is being produced by Mike White and David Bernad’s RipCord Productions, and is looking to begin shooting in Atlanta this summer.