Screenwriting duo and comedy mainstays Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon have increasingly become Hollywood's box office saviors, supplying the scripts for both “Night at the Museum” films as well as “The Pacifier,” and their success has allowed them a “one-for-them, one-for-us” status among the studios. Their more personal work has seen less fanfare however, ranging from the executive-mangled (“Let's Go To Prison”) to holistically mangled (“Reno 911: Miami”), but news arrives today that both men have decided to use their clout on their first co-directorial effort.
Darko Entertainment (Richard Kelly's company) will produce alongside Principato Young Entertainment to bring us “Hell Baby,” a horror-comedy starring Rob Corddry and Leslie Bibb as a husband and wife who move into a haunted house in New Orleans. Tormented by the forces within, they call a team of Vatican exorcists, to be played by Lennon and Garant, to save them from having a demonic baby.
The haunted-house trope is always ripe for re-invention, as Ti West did an admirable job finding new ways to mix legitimate scares and laughs in his recent film, “The Innkeepers,” and it will be interesting to see what surprises Lennon and Garant (who both wrote the film) have in store. The team has repeatedly spoken about their battle with studios over their written material in the past, going so far as to write essentially an entire book about the subject ("How to Write Movies For Fun and Profit!"). So with the duo taking the helm on “Hell Baby,” they might finally have the unencumbered experience they so desire.
If not though, we can be sure they'll describe the entire excruciating experience for our entertainment, as they possess a self-flagellating awareness of creative frustration that stops just below Kevin Smith in full-disclosure. Be sure to follow the insanity as “Hell Baby” heads into production for a release next year.