Todd Phillips hires Duplass Brothers to drive his adaptation of ‘Mule’

04.26.12 7 years ago 2 Comments

Here’s a combination that I never would have expected.

The Duplass Brothers are on fire right now, working incredibly hard and putting out something like 85 movies a year.  Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, and at least part of that effect comes from seeing Mark Duplass show up in other people’s movies like “Your Sister’s Sister” or “Darling Companion” or on his TV series “The League.”  Their movie “The Do-Deca Pentathalon” is getting a Fox Searchlight release later this year and their other new film, “Jeff Who Lives At Home” is still in some theaters now.

And as Todd Phillips prepares to start production on the final film in “The Hangover” series, he’s also enjoying the recent success of “Project X.”  Once he wraps up his mega-successful franchise, he’s going to be looking for his next movie.  And it looks like that’s going to be a film that brings him together with the Duplass Brothers, an unlikely marriage if I’ve ever seen one.

It’s an interesting match of sensibilities.  I haven’t read the novel by Tony D’Souza, but it’s the story of a young couple who attempt to erase some of their debts by driving some marijuana across the country, and what that does to their relationship.  The Duplass brothers approach their decidedly eccentric characters with a wellspring of empathy, and they love them for their faults and flaws.  Their films love to dig into those flaws and treat them with a sort of reverence, acknowledging that people are weak and weird and, yet, somehow still pretty wonderful. 

Meanwhile, Phillips practically revels in bad behavior.  He loves watching characters do terrible things, and he seems to love the fall-out from those terrible things even more.  They could balance each other out in really interesting ways, cutting deeper than the Duplass Brothers normally do, but with a more open heart than what Phillips does.

Warner Bros. is working with Electric City Entertainment to develop the book into a film, and based on this combination of talent, I’d say they’re off to a pretty great start.

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