It’s been close to a year since we learned True Detective and Beasts of No Nation director Cary Fukunaga had officially set a Netflix return to direct Jonah Hill and Emma Stone in new dark comedy series Maniac, which at long last is finally moving forward. Reports suggest that production will take place later this year, potentially setting a 2018 premiere.
‘But what I really want to do is direct.’ For many dilettante actors hoping to try their hand on the other side of the camera, these have been famous last words, the first omen heralding an indulgent personal project destined for a coolly-received festival debut. But all it takes is a performer with their head on straight and a little filmmaking knowhow to skirt the many pitfalls of the actor-turned-director’s debut. Jonah Hill seems pretty self-aware, he’s got a good sense of humor, and he’s worked with such fine directors as Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, and the Coen brothers. The news that he’s preparing his first outing as a director may be cause for optimism.
A few weeks ago, Joaquin Phoenix and director Gus Van Sant announced that they were reuniting for a movie once again, this time a biopic about quadriplegic cartoonist John Callahan. It looks like the movie is picking up, because now both Rooney Mara and Jonah Hill are in talks to co-star in the movie, an adaptation of Callahan’s autobiography Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot.
O.J. Made in America was one of the best longform documentaries of this year, and stunned audiences with its extremely in-depth case study of O.J. Simpson as a product of the racism and prejudice of his time. Now the producer and director of that documentary, Ezra Edelman, is in talks to direct a movie based on Richard Jewell, the security guard whose life was ruined after he was reported to be a suspect of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics Centennial Park bombings.
Among the review quotes on the Amazon page for Guy Lawson’s Arms and the Dudes about a pair of stoners from Miami who became international arms dealers, is one from the magazine Mother Jones. “It sounds like a comedy flick.” It does, and now it is; War Dogs from director Todd Phillips. As the man who made Old School and The Hangover series, Phillips is a specialist in stories about men of limited intelligence and limitless ability to get into trouble. Finding the story of Efraim Diveroli and David Packouz, two ambitious bros who smooth-talked their way into a massive deal with the Pentagon supplying millions of rounds of ammunition to the Afghan military, must have felt like a gift from God. If Phillips and his screenwriters had simply invented these guys and their improbable rise to the top of the American military supply chain, no one would have believed it. But a look at the Rolling Stone article Lawson later expanded into his book confirms that a shocking amount of the events in this movie really happened.
Jenko and Schmidt may not battle aliens after all.
War Dogs doesn’t sound like the title of a movie by Todd Phillips, the guy behind The Hangover trilogy. But the story from Rolling Stone it’s based on definitely does: “Arms and the Dudes.”
They’ve already got the sunglasses! They’re gonna need to work on those uniforms though. Fewer board shorts, more black suits.
Jonah Hill is the latest thespian to transition behind the camera, joining famous friends like Seth Rogen and James Franco in making the switch from actor to director. It seems only fitting that the actor who got his big break in the coming-of-age high school comedy Superbad would make his directorial debut with a coming-of-age film of his own, based on a script he also wrote.
Formerly known as Arms and the Dudes, the first trailer for War Dogs starring Miles Teller and Jonah Hill has arrived, teasing a slight change of pace for The Hangover director Todd Phillips — well, not so slight. It’s still a fairly rowdy and absurd comedy with a crude streak, but this one is based on an unbelievable true story.