It’s good to be Michael Bacall. The actor-screenwriter’s “21 Jump Street” and “Project X” have both raked in a pretty penny at the recent box office. “21” opened this past weekend to $35 million, while “X” has come out of two weekends with $48 million – and both are getting sequels. Bacall shares story credits with “21” star Jonah Hill (who revealed that the sequel had been greenlit last month), and Matt Drake for “X,” but he’s currently credited as the sole writer of the latter’s sequel. Check out GQ’s interview with Bacall here, in which he explains how he boarded “21” (through Hill) and applauds Channing Tatum; “He annihilates in the movie. It’s as if we wrote the role specifically for him, which we didn’t.”
Bacall’s handful of acting credits (“Inglourious Bastards,” “This Boys Life,” “Hey Arnold!” and “The Wonder Years”) were followed by his emergence as a screenwriter with 2003’s “Bookies” (straight to DVD via Sundance) and 2010’s “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” (he co-wrote with director Edgar Wright).
Looking forward, Bacall has Paramount’s untitled Len Grossman Project with Tom Cruise (inspired by his character in “Tropic Thunder”), which he promises will have “some real emotion and heart,” thanks to Cruise; the film’s tone should fall somewhere between that of “X” and “21.” Bacall tells Cinemablend that “Tom has a lot of knowledge about studio politics. And that was the trick.” A draft is with Paramount.
Bacall also has a few projects in development, including remake “The King of Kong” for New Line with writer-director Seth Gordon (“Horrible Bosses”), Universal’s “Little Girl Lost” with “50/50” director Jonathan Levine, and pea dispenser comedy “Psycho Funky Chimp” set up at MTV with producer Todd Phillips, which seems to have stalled. Well, it can’t ALL be going right.