To celebrate the 10th anniversary of MacGruber‘s short-lived theatrical release, Vanity Fair published a fascinating oral history on the making of the Will Forte comedy and how it went from a box-office dud that was panned by critics to a cult classic on par with Spaceballs and The Naked Gun. In fact, the film is surprisingly a favorite of very serious director Christopher Nolan who’s known for delivering some of the most technically impressive and mind-bending modern cinema.
While reminiscing on the years shortly after MacGruber bombed, director Jorma Taccone first realized the film was finding an audience when Anne Hathaway was promoting The Dark Knight Rises on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in 2012. According to Hathaway, she was intimidated by Nolan until she noticed that he kept dropping movie quotes whenever he was in a good mood. The movie he kept quoting? MacGruber.
Taccone eventually introduced himself to Nolan at a Directors Guild of America dinner, and the two built up enough of a rapport that Taccone invited Nolan to surprise the cast during the table read for Peacock’s upcoming MacGruber TV show. Unfortunately, Nolan couldn’t make it, but he did send along an email to the cast. “It’s kind of stellar, Taccone said. “It was such an amazing way to start the read-through.”
Here’s Nolan’s email via Vanity Fair, and no pressure here:
Though I can’t be there in person to watch you take the first step of your odyssey—know that my spirit soars with you, and whilst it’s perhaps unfair to add to the great sense of responsibility you must already feel, I am duty bound to tell you—the world is waiting, the world is watching.
Learning that Nolan is a huge MacGruber fan also arrives on the heels of the director’s surprising decision to debut the new trailer for Tenet inside Fortnite. While the move left film buffs scratching their heads given Nolan’s devout devotion to the prestige theater experience, Fortnite producer Donald Mustard revealed that idea came from Nolan himself.
The idea of debuting the TENET trailer came from a phone call with Christopher Nolan. We were all talking about our love of seeing new trailers in a THEATER and how sad we were that we can’t do that right now – but how maybe this could be the next best thing. Hope you love it!
— Donald Mustard (@DonaldMustard) May 21, 2020
Christopher Nolan, as it turns out, contains multitudes.
(Via Vanity Fair)