One of the most anticipated films of this year's Sundance Film Festival is "Cyrus," the first "studio film" from indie darlings Jay and Mark Duplass ("Baghead"). It stars Marisa Tomei, John C. Reilly, Catherine Keener and Jonah Hill in a dysfunctional family comedy about the clash between a teen and his mom's new boyfriend. The fraternal filmmakers have a deal with Fox Searchlight, which is distributing that film and likely their next project as well, which we now know is a stoner comedy titled "Jeff Who Lives at Home."
Mark Duplass told Movieweb that "Jeff" is a "quest" movie, a la "The Sword in the Stone," in which a stoner seeks a bottle of wood glue. It will be produced by none other than Jason Reitman, who just won a Golden Globe for co-writing his own film "Up in the Air," and who recently oversaw production of the Megan Fox film "Jennifer's Body."
"This is the movie we were born to make," said Mark, who with his brother Jay is often credited for co-founding the indie movement "mumblecore" with their debut feature, "The Puffy Chair." Mark is also an actor, appearing in other mumblecore films like "Humpday" and "Hannah Takes the Stairs," the FX series "The League" and the upcoming comedy from Noah Baumbach and Ben Stiller, "Greenberg."
He couldn't reveal who is set to play the title character in "Jeff," though it wouldn't be surprising if Jonah Hill was cast in the film at least in some capacity. The "Superbad" star is known to be a huge fan of the Duplass brothers, and he'd surely love to continue working with the guys beyond "Cyrus." All that Mark could say is that the casting will represent a hybrid of worlds, so we can expect to see some actors associated with the stoner comedy genre.
"Jeff," which begins shooting this Spring, is the latest project to kind of lift up the reputation of that genre. David Gordon Green went from being an indie auteur to doing the studio-produced stoner comedy "The Pineapple Express," while Greg Mottola's pot-friendly "Adventureland" was named as one of the 10 best films of 2009 by many critics. The glue-sniffing angle has me thinking of the depressing gas-huffing film "Love Liza," starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, but given the previous work of the Duplass bros and Reitman, "Jeff" will a lot more enjoyable.
Are you intrigued by the idea of a stoner comedy from the Duplass brothers? Or are you getting tired of the current resurgence of drug-friendly films? Do you hope they cast Jonah Hill as their lead?