EXCLUSIVE: How many movie directors does it take to make a comedy pic? Try 17.
Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity Media has signed on to co-finance an untitled comedy. Each of those directors are shooting segments for a film styled in the vein of 1970s sketch comedies Kentucky Fried Movie and Groove Tube. Like those predecessors, this will wear its R-rating like a badge. Relativity confirmed it’s making the picture, but wouldn’t specify the number of directors, because many of them are still falling into place. Shooting will wrap in May.
So far, Pete Farrelly, Brett Ratner, Elizabeth Banks, Bob Odenkirk, and Griffin Dunne have directed segments, with Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Gerard Butler, Banks, Naomi Watts, Liev Schreiber, Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott, Emma Stone, Matt Walsh, Tony Shalhoub, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Kieran Culkin, Chloe Moretz, and Patrick Warburton.
The segments are shot on the fly, the actors getting favored nations pay. Farrelly, for instance, got lucky on his segment, called The Catch. He caught Jackman with a day off from his Broadway play A Steady Rain. Farrelly shot in one day with Winslet, who lives in New York.
Kavanaugh got involved when the project shook loose recently from Overture. Farrelly, his frequent comedy collaborator Charles Wessler, and GreeneStreet Films’ John Penotti are the producers.Tim Williams and Tucker Tooley are exec producers and Witness Protection Films is also producing.
Wessler has been hustling the concept so long that it once got killed at Paramount, after the production head was visited by Tipper Gore and decided this didn’t fit the family-film mode. Kavanaugh will set up distribution through one of his output deals.
Using multiple directors to film segments of thematically-connected subject matter isn’t unique. It was done with Amazon Women on the Moon, and again on Paris, je t’aime.