Is Guest Done With Mockumentaries?

Christopher Guest has made an awesome career for himself by gathering together some incredibly talented people and allowing the troupe to riff creatively on subject matter of his choosing. As a result we’ve gotten mockumentaries Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, and For Your Consideration. I wondered what the writer/director/actor was doing when I saw he had a new, non-comedy musical album out in last week’s Entertainment Weekly. It turns out music may continue to play a part of Guest’s future, and film may not.

MTV Movies Blog caught up with a member of Guest’s talented troupe of actors, Jane Lynch, at Sundance last week, and got the actress talking about her work on Guest’s films. Lynch dropped a bomb during the interview that no word has come from Guest about another project, leading Lynch and fellow ensemble member Parker Posey thinking that the director might be done with his specific brand of comedy movies.

On one hand, I can see why Guest might be ready to hang it up. He’s already tackled community theater, dog shows, folk music, and the world of filmmaking. That last one was weak compared to the other offerings, which could mean Guest’s company has run out of steam, or the filmmaker has run out of ideas. Or, it could just have been a misfire in what was otherwise an excellent track record (remember, A Mighty Wind even took one of its songs to the Oscars).

Just because nothing new is on the horizon, don’t think Guest is completely done with his mockumentaries. Lynch also talked about a rumor that Guest might be adapting his first ensemble picture, Waiting for Guffman, for a Broadway run. Out of all of Guest’s pictures, Guffman certainly lends itself to a Broadway adaptation the most, since the story is already tied to the theater would with its story of a community theater company putting on a musical. Convert that to a Broadway company and Guest can do a send-up of the very place his show gets transplanted to. Of course, this is only a rumor right now, but it’s an excellent one.

Guest has always struck me as an artist who wants to stretch himself. Look at the variety of roles he’s played as an actor and you easily see someone who doesn’t want to fall into one stereotype. Hopefully the same is true of other elements of his creativity, and we’ll continue to see new projects from Guest - just maybe not mockumentaries or projects on film.