Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Digital has started work on The Fake Trailer Project, a digital project inspired by Stiller’s own fake trailers that were shown in short doses in the comedy Tropic Thunder. The new project, essentially a series of at least 12 short trailer parodies, will be distributed online via a partner to be named shortly. The plan is to bring together top actors and filmmakers across all genres to take part. I’m now told that they’ll come one per week, starting in the late fall or winter.

Stiller will produce with Stuart Cornfeld and Mike Rosenstein through Red Hour Digital, with longtime Red Hour collaborator Robert Cohen exec producing and directing some of the shorts. Among the actors and directors who’ll contribute content are Stiller’s Tropic Thunder co-writer Justin Theroux, Night at the Museum scribes Tom Lennon & Ben Garant, and Clueless helmer Amy Heckerling.

Beyond Tropic Thunder, the fake trailer has provided comic currency in films like Grindhouse (where the Danny Trejo phony trailer Machete was turned into a feature). My personal favorite trailer parody was one Jerry Seinfeld came up with years ago to promote his documentary Comedian, which featured actual trailer voice-over announcer Hal Douglas.

Here was one of the fake trailers used in Tropic Thunder, featuring Robert Downey Jr as Kirk Lazarus:

Here’s the one from Comedian: