As we probably all know, Participant Productions is a company that usually takes on pretty high-brow subjects, and their films (Good Night and Good Luck, Syriana, Charlie Wilson’s War) are the kind that win awards.
But Participant is apparently unhappy that their films haven’t connected with a low-brow audience. And so they’ve picked up Minimum Wage, a comedy about corporate greed, on a pitch from TV bit-part actors Tegan West and Scott Atkinson.
Like many low-brow comedies, Minimum Wage contains a questionable premise. It’s about a corporate executive who is convicted of fraud and in a hilarious twist is sentenced to live off a minimum-wage paycheck for a year in a town his company bankrupted.
Jonathan King of Participant loves how this premise allows West and Atkinson to create comedy gold and preach at the audience at the same time. From Variety: “This is a mainstream comedy with the same hilarious humor and heart that Wedding Crashers had, but it also highlights how corporate greed is hurting us as a society.” Hot.
While you probably don’t know who Tegan West or Scott Atkinson are, it’s possible you would recognize one or both of them. They’re the kind of guys who appear in small roles in dozens of TV shows all across the spectrum. While Atkinson hasn’t written anything, West does have one screenwriting credit; he co-wrote The Cave. The potential for greatness here is not very high.