Posted on Thursday, March 10th, 2011 by Russ Fischer
The other day we told you about Vaughn Meader, a film that is being developed as a star vehicle for Bill Hader. It isn’t a big broad studio comedy, however. The actor would play real-life comedian and impersonator Vaughn Meader, who built a career out of a JFK impression that was enjoyed by huge audiences — the President even loved it — and then saw that career disappear virtually overnight when Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.
Rob Siegel was said to be involved, and the script sounds as if it has some of the key elements of sweetness and darkness that characterized his last two big scripts, The Wrestler and Big Fan. Now we know that he will also direct Vaughn Meader, which makes the movie even more promising.
Big Fan was Mr. Siegel’s directorial debut and the first film to feature comedian Patton Oswalt in a leading dramatic role. It has a few weaknesses — the low budget is evident throughout, and Rob Siegel’s directorial inexperience is also occasionally reflected — but it is also a film with a very solid, affecting core. As debuts go, it is pretty damn strong, and points the way to what could be a very promising career directing darkly comic stories.
The Playlist had news about Vaughn Meader earlier this week, and at the time Bill Hader’s comments seemed to indicate that Rob Siegel was writing. In fact the script is written by True Blood co-exec producer Alexander Woo, and Rob Siegel will direct.
Asked about the tone, Bill Hader said he wanted to do some dark elements but also,
It would be pretty sweet. It’s a real interesting piece and in a weird way it feeds into now, just like people becoming super famous overnight, reality stars and stuff. This guy became crazy famous, the president was talking about this guy and then it all went away. It’s really interesting.
I don’t know enough of Alexander Woo’s stuff to predict how the script might turn out, but the role sounds like one that Bill Hader could really dig into, and I’ve been waiting for Rob Siegel to direct another film. This sounds like as close to a perfect option as is going to come along.