Bill Hader Talks about His Slasher Comedy with Judd Apatow, HENCHMAN with Akiva Schaffer, VAUGHN MEADER, and the Difficulties of Financing Smaller-Budget Films

     March 10, 2011

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Steve recently spoke with Bill Hader about his upcoming projects and there’s plenty of good stuff to go around.  Hader provided updates on his slasher comedy with Judd Apatow, the comedy Henchman with Akiva Schaffer (Hot Rod), the cool-sounding biopic Vaughn Meader with Robert Siegel (Big Fan) scripting, and an untitled project with Vernon Chatman (Wonder Showzen) for producer Scott Rudin (The Social Network).

Hit the jump for what Hader had to say about these projects as well as his thoughts on the difficulties of getting smaller movies financed.  Click here for Hader talking about his other projects, The Skeleton Twins and The Hand Job, and click here for what he had to say about his popular SNL character “Stefon”.

bill_hader_imageYou’ve talked about this slasher-horror film that you might be doing with Judd Apatow.  How are things shaping up with the stuff that you have been developing?

BILL HADER:  There’s a lot of stuff.  I mean, everything is kind of like…scripts have been turned in.  We are rewriting, and just notes, and things like that.  They all have, as they say, traction or whatever.  It seems they all have momentum.  The slasher movie we are kind of just figuring out what we want to do with it.  Even if we want to do it or what it is.  It’s a really funny script.  Judd basically was like, “What if you were dating a girl and you found out that she was Laurie Strode 15 years ago.”  You know what I mean?  Like, she was the girl who was the survivor of a slasher movie.  That was his kind of take.  He was like, “Go write that.”  So we are working out that idea.  Then there is a movie, Henchman, that Akiva Schaffer and I are working on at 21 Laps.  They came to us with it.  That would be me and someone else – we don’t know who – basically playing two guys who realize that they are working for the villain in like a Jason Bourne movie.  We are working on that.  Then, me and Vernon Chatman, who is a South Park writer who writes for Delocated and is the creator of Wonder Showzen and Xavier: Renegade Angel.  He and I are writing something for Scott Rudin that is going really well.  Then, there is this movie called Vaughn Meader that Ben Stiller’s company, Red Hour, came to me with.  Vaughn Meader was this guy who did this JFK impression.  He had this comedy album called “The First Family” and it’s still one of the top selling comedy albums of all time.  He just did this killer JFK impression and became world famous for it.  Then, of course, JFK gets assassinated and his career just went nowhere after that.

Vaughn Meader

Vaughn Meader

I remember hearing about that guy.

HADER:  Yeah.  Ben Stiller brought on Rob Siegel to do a draft of it.  So that is really exciting.  That is another thing that is in the works.

Yeah, you have nothing going on outside of SNL.

HADER:  Yeah, I know. [laughs] It’s a lot of fun, though – each of these things and working with all of these producers and how everybody works.  Getting to work with all of these people you just pick up so much stuff.  You learn so much.  So its been really helpful for me in figuring out projects and things like that and what you want to do.

I’ve spoken to a lot of people who have talked about how difficult it is to get financing on a lot of pictures now.

HADER:  Yeah, it really is.  It’s interesting.  I’ve talked to other people who are like, “Yeah.”  Even two or three years ago it was easier.  It’s just become really, really difficult just to get under a million dollars to make a movie.  Then Sundance comes around and you see all of those movies that got made and you’re like, “Wow.  Who financed that?”  You know?

Especially because some of those movies are just not good.

HADER:  Yeah.  Well, that is the thing.  We watched the making of Winter’s Bone and it was like, “Yeah, that is the kind of crew you need.”  In Winter’s Bone it’s literally the director and the camera operator.   That’s it.  Just a super small Kubrick crew.  You know what I mean?  Like 8 people.  That is kind of whatever you can do to get your movie made.  It obviously worked out great for them.  I thought that was the best movie of the year for me.  I loved Winter’s Bone.

Here’s a clip of Vaughn Meader doing his stand up act.

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