Danny McBride to Star in Jody Hill’s L.A.P.I.

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Now that Danny McBride and Jody Hill ostensibly have the keys to the kingdom by way of their new production company, Rough House Pictures, the world of comedy better watch its stagnant ass. Hill is attached to direct, and McBride to star as a “beaten down, hardboiled private investigator,” in a new action-comedy called L.A.P.I. Their pal and fellow North Carolina School of the Arts alum, David Gordon Green, who co-founded the company with them last year, will co-produce.

What’s intriguing is that unlike their previous collaborations The Foot Fist Way, HBO’s Eastbound & Down, and Observe & Report, the idea and pitch for L.A.P.I. originates outside the crew’s creative circle, from screenwriter team Michael Diliberti and Matthew Sullivan. The duo have two other buzzing projects in development: a comedy entitled Comic Con (one of two scripts by these guys on the 2009 Black List) and a remake of Brewster’s Millions. McBride and Hill are pretty damn selective about material, so I can’t wait to hear more and see what appealed to them. Read the official press release and additional /Film thoughts after the jump. Or just go celebrate in your backyard by waving around a machete and leaving uncool magical trails…

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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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I had the distinct pleasure to take part in a round table discussion with Bunny & the Bull director Paul King and stars Edward Hogg and Simon Farnaby at this weekend’s cosplay-tastic MCM Expo, where they provided a brief welcome relief amongst the rampaging hordes of toons-made-flesh on a good time mission.

Farnaby has recently completed filming on David Gordon Green‘s Your Highness, in which he is playing one of a gang of “Elite Knights” who he says are the “baddies” of the picture. When the round table was wrapping up and the old “What’s next for you?” standby came out, he was forthcoming with some details of his scenes and on-set experience. Full quotage after the break.

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What follows basically amounts to me copy/pasting an entire press release from Universal, for which I apologize. But this is one of the few times where the action is worthwhile, because the studio has sent out a set of approved synopses for the 2010 slate, and there are details here about films like MacGruber, David Gordon Green‘s Your Highness and Ridley Scott‘s stillUntitled Robin Hood Adventure that we hadn’t seen assembled all in one place. Read More »

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Tacked to the end of an unrelated story in the trades is first word that David Gordon Green‘s remake of Suspiria will begin shooting next year. This consciousness-altering bit of movie news was discovered by The Playlist. Curtsy. Green, who has managed to maintain his indie cred (Snow Angels) and establish box office pull and mainstream cachet (Pineapple Express), is currently in Ireland helming the Danny McBride stoner fantasia Your Highness for Universal. Last summer, I covered a rumor that Natalie Portman was cast as the lead in his Suspiria flick; as with today there was never a solid follow-up. However, Portman was later cast as the warrior princess/McBride’s unlikely love interest in Your Highness and previously expressed interest in the role.

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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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The first set photo of Natalie Portman in David Gordon Green‘s The Highness has been discovered on the fansite Natalieportman.com [via Playlist / Collider]. The photo shows the suspected actress, in green and sporting a shorter haircut, watching on as a medieval jousting duel takes place in background. Check out the full photo after the jump.

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your_highness_cast

David Gordon Green , James Franco and Danny McBride are following their stoner action movie Pineapple Express with a stoner medieval comedy called Your Highness, and Zooey Deschanel has just joined the cast. Shooting starts this month in Northern Ireland, according to THR, with Natalie Portman also in the picture. Read More »

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In July, director David Gordon Green begins shooting Your Highness in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Inspired by herb-friendly ’80s fantasies like Krull, Yor, and The Dark Crystal, the R-rated adventure-com centers on Danny McBride as a regal fuck-up who’s forced to save his kingdom and his brother’s fiancé. James Franco recently signed on—Pineapple Express reunion, natch—to play the feted, charming brother. And today, Natalie Portman is officially a lock to for McBride’s would-be love interest, described as a “warrior princess.” Some may recall that Portman was attached last year to headline Green’s remake of Dario Argento’s macabre, color-obsessed Supiria; that project remains on the back-burner. She’s currently producing and working on Hesher, a cool-sounding teen angst film co-starring Rainn Wilson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

McBride, who co-wrote Highness with Ben Best, has said that the supporting cast will consist of “serious” British actors to align with the film’s play-it-straight tone; in jest, he’s even compared the tone to Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon. The movie’s SFX by Spectral Motion will go light on CGI (a welcome trend) and—a la the actor’s upcoming Land of the Lost—willl shoot on built-sets that are “huge and crazy.” This project easily makes my top-5 most anticipated. For more info on Your Highness, click here.

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While David Gordon Green and Danny McBride‘s trippy fantasy movie, Your Highness, has been sizzling on my radar for many months now, the project now sounds like it’s happening sooner than later. Hell yes. When I spoke to these dudes last year, they were hopeful, but Green also had a lot of plates spinning (Suspiria remake, Freaks of the Heartland). I also got the impression that if their HBO series, Eastbound & Down, was successful and claimed its place in pop culture—and boy, has it—that it might serve to launch such a high-concept R-rated flick with McBride at the lead. One thing more people are starting to admire is that these guys make sure to do things their way, no “one for them” studio fluffing.

According to Knowles at AICN, McBride confirms that the film has been greenlit by Universal, will shoot soon in Ireland, and the creature effects will be handled by Spectral Motion (Hellboy 1 & 2). In ode to its myriad inspirations, the film won’t feature heavy CGI but more traditional, weirder effects. Moreover, McBride let out that James Franco will co-star, in a Pineapple Express trifecta reunion of sorts. Many of you might be like, “So WTH is Your Highness?” Here are some quotes from my interviews that didn’t see light until today…

/Film:  Can you go into Your Highness? Judging from the title and from what you guys previously did on Pineapple Express, is this a true-blue stoner genre film?

Green: It’s not really a weed movie. [Danny’s character] smokes shit [weed] in it, yeah, but it’s whatever they had in olden times. This is an R-rated adventure, it’s ridiculous, played with lo-tech effects. I looked at Army of Darkness recently for it, but it’s not campy. Krull has Juliard actors, it’s really ‘80s. At the same time, Danny ain’t Orlando Bloom.

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