‘Don Verdean’ Trailer: Danny McBride Sends Sam Rockwell to Search for Religious Artifacts
If that headline didn’t clue you in, then you should know that this is a trailer for Don Verdean, a new absurd religious satire from the folks who brought you Napoleon Dynamite (and some other movies that weren’t as well-liked) — not a trailer for a new religious movie. Although I’d pay handsomely to watch Danny McBride and Sam Rockwell play it straight in a faith-based drama.
Don Verdean is the latest film from Jared and Jerusha Hess, the duo responsible for Napoleon Dynamite and Gentlemen Broncos. In their new film, Rockwell plays a biblical archaeologist pressured into making more and more discoveries in order to secure funding and do the Lord’s work. This leads to some less-than-honest shenanigans, of course.
Joining Rockwell are national treasure Amy Ryan as Don’s assistant Carol, Jemaine Clement as his native Israeli assistant Boaz, Danny McBride as evangelical preacher Tony Lazarus, Will Forte as a competing preacher, and Leslie Bibb as McBride’s faithful wife.
Don Verdean, like the Hess’ previous films, inspired mixed reviews when it played at Sundance earlier this year, though the trailer makes it seem far more promising than more recent Hess efforts. Forte’s speech about Satan in your breakfast cereal is particularly wonderful — more like that, please. Here’s the official synopsis:
Don Verdean is a man of faith who has devoted his life to biblical archaeology, scouring the globe in search of artifacts that back up the teachings of Jesus Christ. Now, traveling from town to town, he and his devoted assistant, Carol, spread the gospel by peddling books and DVDs out of his shabby RV, while his Holy Land contacts, Boaz and Shem, do the digging from afar. When evangelical preacher Tony Lazarus offers to bankroll Don’s modest roadside operation, the escalating pressure to find increasingly significant relics leads Don and his team down a less-than-righteous path. With more than just the word of God on the line, Don finds himself in the midst of a spiteful feud between two opposing congregations, leaving him to question what is truly important in life.
Don Verdean arrives on December 11.