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Generally, being a stoner means living a sedentary life without much happening by way of high stakes action. But in the movies, tokers tend to become the heroes of the day, using their wits over brawn to get the job done. Jesse Eisenberg will play such a character alongside Kristen Stewart in the upcoming action comedy American Ultra from indie producer extraordinaire Anthony Bregman and Circle of Confusion. Two of the more polarizing actors in Hollywood coming together as a couple? Pass the bong, please.
American Ultra is set to be directed by Nima Nourizadeh, whose only other film was last year’s dismal party comedy caper Project X. Given that film was of the found footage variety, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of a director Nourizadeh is in for a standard feature. The script was written by Max Landis, most famous for being the son of John Landis and for writing 2012’s small-scale superhero flick Chronicle.
For this film, Eisenberg will play unmotivated pothead Mike with Stewart as his girlfriend Phoebe. They live together in a small town, minding their own business and everything, when Mike’s secretive past catches up with him and he suddenly has a team of government agents tasked with trying to take him out.
It sounds interesting enough, though Eisenberg seems a tad too young to have a past coming back to haunt him. Oddly enough, the strongest draw for this movie is Bregman getting behind it. He told THR it’s "the most fun you can possibly have in a movie theater without the use of drugs, fireworks or canola oil." Bregman was behind such films as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Savages, and has Enough Said and Foxcatcher on his current slate. Hopefully American Ultra won’t be the odd film out here.
Both Eisenberg and Stewart have been great at balancing mainstream films with interesting indies, having starred in 2009’s Adventureland together with success. After starring as a pompous illusionist in Now You See Me earlier this year, Eisenberg will soon be seen in Richard Ayoade’s mystery The Double and Kelly Reichardt’s environmentalist thriller Night Moves, and he’ll be heard reprising his role as Blu in next year’s Rio 2.
Now that the Twilight saga is complete, we never have to worry about seeing Stewart play Bella again, though we still may see her again as Snow White for a Snow White and the Huntsman sequel. She recently finished filming the Guantanamo Bay-set drama Camp X-Ray and Oliver Assayas’ drama Sils Maria. She’s also set to star in Steven Shainberg’s comedy drama The Big Shoe and may star in Drake Doremus’ sci-fi flick Equals with Nicholas Hoult.
We’ll have to wait another year and a half or so to see American Ultra, as it isn’t scheduled to begin filming until April of next year. Let’s hope this film is a little more Pineapple Express and a little less Project X.