Posted on Monday, October 31st, 2011 by Russ Fischer
Jeffrey Blitz, who made his debut with the award-winning 2002 spelling bee documentary Spellbound, and his dramatic feature debut in ’07 with Rocket Science, is lining up a new movie. Table 19 is a script by Jay and Mark Duplass, who were once going to direct the film. But they’ve moved on to other things and now Blitz is in talks to make the movie, which Shawn Levy will produce.
Variety says the script is an ensemble “singles-at-the-wedding pic” with “a group of strangers who meet at the “losers” table at a wedding. Told from their perspective, the story explores what marriage means to those on the sidelines.”
The script has been at Fox Searchlight since 2009, and I would have liked to see what the Duplass brothers might have done with it. Especially in light of their last two films, Cyrus and Jeff Who Lives at Home, which have moved into slightly more polished territory compared to their earlier features The Puffy Chair and Baghead. (The brothers also have another homegrown indie, The Do-Deca Pentathlon, which is completed but not yet released.)
I’m not a big fan of Rocket Science, which was about a stuttering high school boy who joins his school debate team,but Spellbound was quite good, and if Blitz can prevent Table 19 from going too twee, it might fare better than did Rocket Science. In the years since making that film, Blitz has directed episodes of Parks and Recreation and The Office (for which he won an Emmy) as well as the 2010 doc Lucky, about the lottery industry and the people who play the ‘games’ each week.