Good things are happening to Jody Hill, and I am pleased. Judging from the emails and message board comments, you’re just not going to buy the greatness of The Foot Fist Way until you see the whole thing yourself (and I can sense that a few of you have already made up your minds in advance to hate it), so let’s remove that troublesome little title from the equation.
Unfortunately, this leaves us nothing to discuss, so you’re just going to have to trust me on Hill’s talent. And Will Ferrell. And Adam McKay. And Judd Apatow. And, most importantly, Seth Rogen, who’s just agreed to star in Observe and Report, Hill’s writing/directing follow-up to The Foot Fist Way. Rogen will play Ronnie Barnhardt, a mall security chief who gets into a jurisdictional pissing match with the local police force. Variety points out that this is similar in concept to Kevin James’s Mall Cop, but that project appears to have stalled out; besides, the Hill/Rogen variation will, according to producer Donald De Line (The Stepford Wives, Fool’s Gold and Domestic Disturbance), “definitely go to the edge”. I’m not one to piss on a guy getting a movie I’ll probably like off the ground, but why does that sound like something Martin Short’s agent character from The Big Picture would say? Vincent Hannah maybe?
This will be Rogen’s second non-Apatow film in a row (he’s currently muddling through Kevin Smith’s Zack and Miri Make a Porno), so I can only conclude that the two hate each other’s guts. Perhaps Rogen’s Pineapple Express (directed by Hill’s buddy David Gordon Green) will be their final collaboration before they write vitriolic tell-alls. That’d be unfortunate, but it’s fun to watch people fight.
Observe and Report is set up at Warner Brothers, and will begin production once shooting on Zack and Miri Make a Porno concludes.