Danny McBride’s had a tough 2011 at the box office. “Your Highness” and “30 Minutes or Less” were basically flops, but money isn’t everything, and McBride is a talented guy who seems to be well-liked by people who greenlight movies. He’d have to be after getting studios to shell out $50 million so he can wear a minotaur’s penis around his neck.
Mandate Pictures is one such studio. They are moving forward with “Bullies,” a project set up with Roughhouse Pictures, the shingle run by McBride, David Gordon Green and Jody Hill. The commercial director Randy Krallman will make his feature debut with the project, which revolves around two brothers who have been bullies all their lives and get their comeuppance. It sounds like a perfect movie for McBride to star in, which is appropriate, since he came up the concept. The screenplay was written by Andrew Mogel and Jarrad Paul, the two scribes responsible for “Yes Man,” as well as co-creating the animated series “Allen Gregory” with Jonah Hill.
While Krallman is untested as a filmmaker, his commercials are really funny. He did this weird bus station ad for Starburst, and a few other bizarre spots. Even as he’s hawking products, Krallman displays a confrontational attitude and gets interesting performances out of the actors, especially under such circumstances. If there’s such a thing as literally a commercial auteur, he’s it.
Danny McBride’s career has been an interesting problem thus far. In this writer’s opinion, the guy is a genius, but he hasn’t been able to knock one out of the park financially (as though the two things are related). It feels like McBride’s been on the cusp of a Will Ferrell-esque breakthrough for years, which is appropriate, since Ferrell and Adam McKay shepherded McBride to Holywood when they picked up “The Foot Fist Way” five years ago.
McBride followed ‘Way’ with the “love it or hate it” HBO series “Eastbound and Down,” but things have remained stagnant since then. Between McBride’s inability to carry a picture (but only from a box office perspective), and his partner Jody Hill’s residency in director jail following the underperforming “Observe and Report” in 2009, the Roughhouse Pictures gang could really use a hit. To quote Kenny Powers himself, “Change is fucking good—but folding money is better.” Here’s hoping McBride and Hill gets to keep changing the comedy landscape, by folding money for those executives. [Deadline]