’s off the reservation!

Back in August, Devin breathlessly relayed the news (culled from AICN) that Jason Bateman had been selected as one-half of the titular duo for Kevin Smith’s Zack and Miri Make a Porno. This was good news in that we’d get more big-screen Bateman. Unfortunately, for those of us who run more frigid than scalding with Smith’s oeuvre, it was akin to learning of a greenlight for The Ex 2: We Can’t Possibly Do Any Worse (But We Can Try). Bateman’s great, but it’s not like he’s Eddie Murphy circa 1983.

Seth Rogen on the other hand…

If we consider You, Me & Dupree his Best Defense, then, yeah, maybe Rogen is enjoying an early-1980s Murphy type of run. In other words, perhaps he’s just the guy to elevate Kevin Smith’s smart, but never-entirely-effective-in-the-performing material to Chasing Amy-esque heights (or better). What’s unique about Rogen is that he was twelve when Clerks hit in 1994; I don’t know that I’ve ever heard him cite Smith as a comedic influence, but I’d be shocked if he wasn’t. Could it be that Rogen might have a better sense of how to enliven Smith’s oft-unwieldy dialogue?

He’ll certainly get some top-notch, on-camera assistance in Elizabeth Banks, who’s been cast as Miri (a role originally intended for Rosario Dawson). Thus far, Banks has mostly excelled as a supporting performer in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, The Baxter and Wet Hot American Summer, but I’ve long felt that she was one lead role away from… something approaching stardom, if not the real thing. Also joining the ensemble is, of course, Jason Mewes.

In case you’re wondering about the plot, it concerns the platonic title couple’s attempt to make a porno to get out of debt. When they enlist their friends to perform in the movie, a sort of mini sexual revolution is touched off, thus compelling Zack and Miri to consider whether they should finally get it on.

The Weinstein Company/Dimension Films will produce and distribute Zack and Miri Make a Porno, which will begin shooting this January in New Jersey Pittsburgh.