Will Ferrell’s at an interesting place in his career.
He’s delivered enough studio-level hits consistently that he can pretty much get any film made that he really wants to. I doubt there are many career goals Ferrell has that are out of his reach at this point. He’s paid a giant movie star salary on his giant movie star movies. So really, the only thing left for a guy like that to do is have fun doing what he does, and to his credit, that’s exactly what it looks like Ferrell is doing.
You know someone like Ferrell means it when they sign on for a film like “Everything Must Go,” which is going to cost $10 million all in. That’s not Ferrell’s salary… that’s the entire budget for the film. A movie like that gets a huge shot of adrenaline right to the financing when a movie star decides to do it, and it frustrates me that more genuine A-list guys don’t use their clout this way.
Based on a Raymond Carver short story (off to a good start already, wouldn’t you agree?), the film is set to be directed by a commercial director named Dan Rush. It’s the story of a guy who comes home after losing his job to find that his wife has thrown all of his things onto the lawn and locked him out. He decides to stay there until he can sell every single possession, and the film traces the four days of this impromptu garage sale. I’m sure there will plenty of opportunities for laughter, but it sounds like that source material could yield some really interesting returns.
Hey, wait… the script was on the Black List? Really? That means I may have it here on my computer.
Sure enough. Looks like Rush wrote the script as well, and it was adapted from Carver’s story, “Why Don’t You Dance?” Just reading the first 30 pages just now, it’s new territory for Ferrell. He plays Nick, a guy who does motivational speeches for salesmen, and who also has a huge problem with alcohol. After screwing up his last shot at keeping his job via an assault on a co-worker, he’s fired, and on the same day, his wife totally shuts him out. There’s nothing funny about the first act of the film, except in a sort of raw-nerve exposed emotion dark comedy sort of way, and it really does seem like a shot for Ferrell to stretch his chops a bit.
I’m going to read this rest of this after I finish work tonight, and I look forward to seeing what they put together as “Everything Must Go” moves forward.
The news originally appeared in Variety.
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