Screenwriters John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein Talk HORRIBLE BOSSES 2 and CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2

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John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein Horrible Bosses slice

Screenwriters John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein first broke into feature films with 2011’s Horrible Bosses, and the comedy’s enormous success has lead to a flood of high profile writing gigs for the scribes.  I recently spoke with Daley and Goldstein while in Las Vegas for the press junket for the upcoming magician comedy The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (which they wrote), and during the course of our conversation, the two gave me updates on a few high profile projects that they’ve been developing.

We’ll have the full interview available closer to the release of Burt Wonderstone, but today we wanted to share what Daley and Goldstein had to say about the status of a Horrible Bosses sequel and their script for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.  They revealed that they’ve written a couple drafts of Horrible Bosses 2, and they also talked about the process of writing for animation with Cloudy 2.  Hit the jump to read on.

john-francis-daley-jonathan-goldstein-horrible-bosses-2Against a mid-range budget of $35-37 million, Horrible Bosses grossed a wildly impressive $209.6 million worldwide.  Given that the film was a critical success as well, obviously Warner Bros. and New Line are keen on moving forward with a follow-up.  The last update on the project came last month from director Seth Gordon, who said that Horrible Bosses 2 could possibly be his next project if they ensure that the plot lives up to the plot of the first film.

I asked Daley and Goldstein about their involvement with the sequel, and they said that they’ve written a couple of drafts of the script but they’re not entirely sure about the current status of the project:

John Francis Daley: We wrote a couple drafts of [Horrible Bosses 2]. We don’t know what’s gonna happen with it.

Jonathan Goldstein: I think they’re in the deal-making phase and so it’s a little tricky to know right now. They don’t want to blow the budget, so… We don’t know. I think they’ve hired [director] Seth Gordon back and they’re talking to the guys now. It’s tough to say what the future is with that one.

I asked if they could tease anything about the plot of the follow-up, but given that they don’t know if their script will be used or not, they’d rather not spread false information about the pic:

Daley: We don’t even know if it’s gonna be the same from what we wrote, so it’d be pointless to [tease anything about the plot].

Goldstein: We probably don’t want to put things out there that turn out to not be true.

cloudy-with-a-chance-of-meatballs-2-posterHorrible Bosses 2 isn’t the only sequel that Daley and Goldstein have been involved with, as they also penned the upcoming animated comedy Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.  The two talked about how much they loved Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s first film:

Daley: We were huge fans of that movie as well, which is part of the reason why we took on the project.

Goldstein: It’s such an unusual movie, that first one. It’s really weird and edgy and kind of surreal and beautiful.

Daley: And really dark at times, but only to adults. Kids wouldn’t necessarily get the darkness in it. We loved that about it. Working in animation really gives us the freedom to try any joke that we pitch.

Goldstein: Like that thing in the trailer where it’s like, “Not this man, get back in there tear!”

Daley: Where he sucks it back up into his eye [laughs].

Goldstein: That’s really liberating and fun. I think tomorrow we’re doing a day on it to punch some stuff up.

I asked the two about the writing process for animation vs. live-action, and they talked about how writing the script for Cloudy 2 progressed:

Goldstein: They’re storyboarding throughout. So they’ll break it into sequences and then we’ll be rewriting sequences, but they’re already boarding that.

Daley: They had boarded it before we even started working on the movie, so we saw screenings every couple months with boarded sequences and a couple crudely animated sequences.

Goldstein: It’s funny ‘cause you know it’s gonna look good, but it looks like crap when you see it in that form.

Daley: You really have to use your imagination. But they did a screening for kids where it’s still very crudely animated and the kids still seemed to enjoy it, so that’s a testament to either their imaginations or the script.

Look for the full interview with Daley and Goldstein on the site next week, and read the full transcript of the portion of the interview regarding Horrible Bosses 2 and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 below.

horrible-bosses-2-sequelAdam: I have to ask about Horrible Bosses 2. I loved Horrible Bosses. Do you guys know when the sequel might start filming? Is there a script ready?

JOHN FRANCIS DALEY: We wrote a couple drafts of it. We don’t know what’s gonna happen with it. 

JONATHAN GOLDSTEIN: I think they’re in the deal making phase and so it’s a little tricky to know right now. They don’t want to blow the budget, so… We don’t know. I think they’ve hired [director] Seth Gordon back and they’re talking to the guys now. It’s tough to say what the future is with that one. 

Can you tease anything about the plot at all?

DALEY: We don’t even know if it’s gonna be the same from what we wrote, so it’d be pointless to. 

GOLDSTEIN: We probably don’t want to put things out there that turn out to not be true. 

I am a huge fan of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and that first trailer for the sequel was spot-on, it was great.

cloudy-with-a-chance-of-meatballs-2-wild-scallionsDALEY: We were huge fans of that movie as well, which is part of the reason why we took on the project.  

GOLDSTEIN: It’s such an unusual movie, that first one. It’s really weird and edgy and kind of surreal and beautiful. 

DALEY: And really dark at times, but only to adults. Kids wouldn’t necessarily get the darkness in it. We loved that about it. Working in animation really gives us the freedom to try any joke that we pitch. 

GOLDSTEIN: That’s really liberating and fun. I think tomorrow we’re doing a day to punch some stuff up.

And that’s what I was going to ask about. How does the scripting process for animation differ from live-action?

DALEY: Yeah, very different. 

Did the script have to be locked pretty early so that the animation can move forward?

DALEY: Somewhat. If something isn’t working though they’re gonna have to go back and figure out a way to tweak it. 

GOLDSTEIN: They’re storyboarding throughout. So they’ll break it into sequences and then we’ll be rewriting sequences, but they’re already boarding that. 

cloudy-with-a-chance-of-meatballs-2-wildebeetsDALEY: They had boarded it before we even started working on the movie, so we saw screenings every couple months with boarded sequences and a couple crudely animated sequences. 

GOLDSTEIN: It’s funny ‘cause you know it’s gonna look good, but it looks like crap when you see it in that form.

DALEY: You really have to use your imagination. But they did a screening for kids where it’s still very crudely animated and the kids still seemed to enjoy it, so that’s a testament to either their imaginations or the script.

GOLDSTEIN: And it’s got this great cast with Will Forte and Kristin Schaal.

DALEY: We’re huge Will Forte fans. We put him in our Funny or Die short Audio Tour. So we’re excited that he’s blowing up now with Alexander Payne’s movie [Nebraska]. 

Well MacGruber is…

DALEY: Same with us! I mean we love that movie and it is devastating that it didn’t get the audience that it deserved. 




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