Justin Theroux

A couple weeks back I got the opportunity to chat with Justin Theroux, the actor-turned-director-turned-screenwriter. He wrote the screenplay for Tropic Thunder, and penned Iron Man 2, which is the main topic of discussion. Read the full interview below.

Q: Okay, so we should start at the beginning.

Justin Theroux: Alright. <laugh>

Q:  How do you get involved with this project. I mean, you were on Tropic Thunder with Robert [Downey Jr] and then all of a sudden…

Justin Theroux: Tropic Thunder, the obvious connection was Robert. We had a great time doing that movie. And he was like <whispers> you got to meet Kevin Feige, and Jon [Favreau], and those guys. And so I went in and I met with them. And it was super-organic. And it wasn’t clearly well orchestrated. It was just kind of like I met. I explained what I loved about the first movie. Ideas of where it could possibly go into. The themes that I thought were interesting. And we really sort of jived on a lot of things, so. We just started from there. And it moved. I got asked to do it. I met with Jon obviously, and we talked, and…

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Zoolander 2 Dead Due to Budget Woes?


UPDATE: More details have come to light, and they follow after the break.

Last week we heard via tweet that Anchorman 2 wouldn’t be happening, at least for the time being, as Paramount had passed on the film. The issue seemed to be budget. Then came a tweet from Ben Stiller, which seems to cast similar doubt on the potential for Zoolander 2: “Ron Burgundy and Derek Zoolander looking to appear in sequels. Both men destitute, without means or intellect to fund their own comebacks.”

Last we’d heard, Stiller was working on the sequel with Justin Theroux, with the latter set to direct and Jonah Hill in talks to play the villain. Paramount wanted a budget under $50m, and Stiller’s brief statement seems to indicate that either the script remains too expensive, or that Paramount is less interested than before in spending money on the film. Read More »

Iron Man 2 Press Conference

Iron Man 2
Two weeks ago, I attended the worldwide press conference for Iron Man 2 in Los Angeles. In attendance on the panel were the following: Mavel producer Kevin Feige, Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Jon Favreau, Mickey Rourke, and screenwriter Justin Theroux.

I usually don’t post video or footage from these type of events, but Robert Downey Jr was on his game and had some great quips. Unfortunately Paramount decided to cut out the funniest moment of the event: a part at the very end where the Iron Man 2 banner behind them fell down, and Downey decided to try to hold it up behind Scarlett Johansson as she answered the last question. After the jump you can watch the video or read the transcript.

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It looks like Ben Stiller‘s long-in-development sequel to Zoolander might actually be happening. Finke has learned that Ben Stiller has been working on a script with Tropic Thunder and Iron Man 2 screenwriter Justin Theroux. Paramount Pictures wants to keep the budget low (under $50 million) as the first film was not a box office hit. The current plan is for Theroux to direct, and Jonah Hill is apparently in early talks to play the sequel’s villain. Theroux will be at Fashion Week in Paris to “immerse himself on what is current in fashion”.

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Your Highness
Universal Pictures has released their 2010 movie preview, which included this first official photo from David Gordon Green‘s Your Highness, starring Danny McBride, James Franco, Natalie Portman and Zooey Deschanel. Check out the full photo after the jump, click to enlarge.

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It sounds like there’s been a lot kitchen hands, if not exactly chefs, stirring ingredients into Iron Man 2. The first named screenwriter was Justin Theroux, the actor and famously a co-writer of Tropic Thunder; there’s also the Marvel brain trust made up of some of their brightest and best comic book talents; and now, Jon Favreau has revealed that Tony Stark’s off-screen alter-ego Robert Downey Jr. played a significant part in shaping the sequel’s screenplay. Of course, there’s no doubt that Favreau himself had a hand in the story and structure, if not the precise beats and dialogue so we’re definitely looking at a group collaboration here.

I remember that Edward Norton took control of the Incredible Hulk script, for better or worse. He suffered quite a drubbing for that, too. Could Downey end up the scapegoat if Iron Man 2 ends up falling short of expectations?

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Justin Theroux Scripts Space Invader

Space Invader

Justin Theroux has been hired to pen a draft of the astronaut romantic comedy Space Invader. Theroux is an actor turned screenwriter whose writing credits include Tropic Thunder and the upcoming Iron Man 2. Mike Lisbe and Nate Reger sold the project to 20th Century Fox and penned the original draft. The concept is actually kind of funny, and has nothing to do with the famous retro video game (alien pictured above). Details after the jump.

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Wizard people, dear reader. The casting director on Your Highness must really hate shitty talent. Today brings confirmation that Justin Theroux, the guy burdened with writing Iron Man 2 and hiding scythe-like eyebrows, will play a badguy wizard in the R-rated stoner fantasia due 2010 from Pineapple Express director David Gordon Green.

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Fresh off his screenwriting gig on Iron Man 2, Variety announces that Justin Theroux has landed his second gig as director, and first for a major studio. In 2007 Theroux directed the indie Dedication, about “about a misanthropic children’s book author who tries to find love with a sweet-natured illustrator”. Now he’ll helm a film called Chief Ron for Universal, based on the story of Chief Ron Roberts, a blonde-haired, blue-eyed chap who claimed Native American ancestry in a bid to open an east coast casino. The real Ron won out, but will Theroux? More after the jump.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

A few weeks ago, Entertainment Weekly reported on the details of the Terence Howard/Don Cheadle Iron Man 2 debacle, saying that, due to the problems with Howard for the first film:

…when Favreau and screenwriter Justin Theroux went to map out the sequel they found themselves minimizing Howard’s story line. Once Marvel learned that Favreau was thinking of curtailing the role, the studio went to the actor’s agents with a new and drastically reduced offer[.]

Now, according to MTV Splashpage, we learn that screenwriter Theroux has unequivocally stated that the Rhodes’ character was not scaled back for the sequel:

All that stuff that was in the “EW” article…I don’t know. I can only tell you what I know which is that from a writing standpoint we didn’t do anything differently [with the character]. It’s not like we were sitting there going, we need less of this or that. We just approached the characters and the story on their own terms.

Theroux also confirmed that Rhodes will in fact be integral to the plot:

I can’t really speak to the plot stuff and all the rest of it but Rhodes is completely present in a very strong and big way…He’s COMPLETELY present.

There you have it, folks: We’ll be seeing a lot more of Mr. Rhodes, the army man who becomes War Machine, albeit with an infusion of Cheadle this time around.