nicholas stoller neighbors interview

The upcoming comedy Neighbors is odd in that the director, Nicholas Stoller (above, center), came on pretty late in the process. Writers Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O’Brien first pitched the idea to producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. They loved it and thought of Zac Efron as the lead frat boy in the conceit. Only then did Stoller get the call. Once he came on board, many things were already in place. That’s not to say he didn’t put his own stamp on it, however.

That stamp comes from Hollywood experience that’s been incredibly eclectic so far, and is only getting more weird. Stoller first directed Forgetting Sarah Marshall, wrote and directed Get Him To The Greek, wrote The Muppets, wrote and directed The Five Year Engagement, wrote Muppets Most Wanted and, after Neighbors, he’s going into the world of animation with Captain Underpants and Storks.

In this interview, we talk about all of that. We also discuss the issues marketing a comedy where you want to sell the movie but also not ruin the jokes, PG-13 vs R in the eye of an executive, the latest on some upcoming projects, being part of the Warner Bros. Animation brain trust and how Enter the Void played a part in the production.

We also discussed lots of behind the scenes Neighbors stuff, dissecting some of the film’s best jokes, but we’ll save that for next week so you can see the hilarious movie this weekend and not be spoiled. Read the non-spoiler Nicholas Stoller Neighbors interview below. Read More »

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uptown-saturday-night

Two of the biggest stars in the world are attached. A high-profile comedy director wants to make it his next film. There’s just one thing in the way – that pesky script. That seems to be the case with Uptown Saturday Night, a remake of the 1974 Sidney Poitier film starring Poitier and Bill Cosby. Adam McKay (Anchorman, Step Brothers) wants to make the film his next movie, and he’s got Will Smith and Denzel Washington set to play the lead roles. Now, in hopes to jump start the project to film next year, Warner Bros. has hired Nicholas Stoller (The Muppets, The Five-Year Engagement, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) to rewrite the script. Read More »

Frankly, I’m surprised it has taken so long for this to happen. In the early to mid-’70s Bill Cosby did three films with Sidney Poitier (who also directed) called Uptown Saturday Night, Let’s Do It Again, and A Piece of the Action. The films aren’t exactly related in a narrative sense — they feature different characters, in different cities — but are clearly related in that they feature Cosby, Poitier and great supporting casts having a hell of a time in comedy/caper stories.

Now Adam McKay, director of Anchorman, is in talks to remake Uptown Saturday Night, with hopes for Will Smith and Denzel Washington as the stars. Smith has been trying to remake all three films for a decade now, and maybe it is finally about to happen. Read More »

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