In last year’s hit comedy “Role Models,” Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott played two ne’er-do-well energy drink salesmen forced into a youth mentoring program called Sturdy Wings. There they met Augie, a medieval role-playing enthusiast and Ronnie, a dirty-minded bundle of pre-teen energy. In between the hijinks and boob jokes, all four of them end up learning a few lessons -- and the movie became one of 2008’s highest grossing R-rated comedies.
And this being Hollywood, where every success is destined to be plumbed for possible sequels, spin-offs and any sort of ancillary tie-in (videogames! breakfast cereal!), the writer/director David Wain has been discussing a second “Role Models” movie.
“There has been talk about a lot of things like that,” said Wain, who was promoting the film’s DVD release (out March 10). “Like taking the whole LAIRE universe”—Augie’s role-playing game—“and seeing those people’s lives. We had a lot of fun thinking about what these people’s day jobs were. Like the king of LAIRE is a data processing clerk by day and people dump on him all day. A lot of these memorable characters in the movie you only saw for a few moments—it would be fun to see more.”
When it came time to choose one character for a spin-off, though, Wain wouldn’t commit. “I love all my characters like my children,” he said. “I could never pick one. It’s ‘Sophie’s Choice.’”
He hastened to add that as interested as he is in a second go at “Models,” no project is yet in active development.
So while the next phase in the life of “Models” continues to gestate, Wain is happy to bask in its box office triumph last fall. “It’s the first thing I’ve ever been involved with that had any commercial success of any kind,” he admitted.
And now the directorial offers have been rolling in, including serious discussions to helm the Ben Stiller comedy, “Little Fockers.” “The phone has definitely been ringing,” Wain said. “But I’m definitely not interested in changing who I am or the kinds of things I do. I’m being very careful about what I do next.”
So life for Wain is good night now. If only he could ignore the vicious snubbing he received from the Academy Awards earlier this year. “Obviously there was some kind of scandal or else ‘Role Models’ would have swept,” he said. “We are pursuing some lawsuits right now. I think it does go to the highest levels of government. It goes from Pricewaterhouse all the way up to the Senate and then to the Oval office.”
Which “Models” character would you like to see get a spin-off? What other comedies were shamefully snubbed by the Oscars?