Back in July, we reported that Jason Bateman (Arrested Development) was lining up the 2011 Black List comedy Bad Words as his directorial debut. We’re happy to say that the production has officially begun and the supporting cast has been significantly rounded out. In addition to Bateman in the lead, the indie comedy will feature Allison Janney (The Help), Kathryn Hahn (Our Idiot Brother), Ben Falcone (Bridesmaids), Philip Baker Hall (Argo), and Rohan Chandz (Jack and Jill). Andrew Dodge’s comedic script centers on a high-school drop-out (Bateman) who uses a loophole to compete in an 8th grade spelling bee, enraging teachers and parents alike, but befriending an awkward young contestant along the way. Hit the jump for much more on Bad Words.
LOS ANGELES (November 2, 2012) – Darko Entertainment, Aggregate Films and MXN Entertainment announced today production commences this week on the dark comedy, “Bad Words,” which marks the directorial debut of Jason Bateman. Darko Entertainment is financing the film, which is produced by Aggregate Films’ Jason Bateman, MXN’s Mason Novick (“Juno”), and Darko Entertainment’s Sean McKittrick and Jeff Culotta. Executive Producers are Darko’s Ted Hamm, Aggregate Films’ Jim Garavente and Darren Demetre with Gary Marcus serving as co-producer. The original screenplay written by Andrew Dodge made the coveted The Black List in 2011.
Starring Bateman, it was also announced Allison Janney (“The Help,” “Juno”), Kathryn Hahn (“Our Idiot Brother,” “How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days”), Ben Falcone (“Bridesmaids,” “What To Expect When Your Expecting”), Philip Baker Hall (“Argo,” “Magnolia”), and Rohan Chandz (“Jack and Jill) will round out the stellar supporting cast.
In “Bad Words,” the old adage, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” is taken to new heights when 41-year-old high school drop out Guy Trilby (Jason Bateman) discovers a loophole that allows him to enter The National Quill Spelling Bee. Designed for 8th Grade children or below, Guy’s entry draws vehement protest and outrage of parents and the organization’s director Dr. Bernice Deagan (Allison Janney). Despite having no formal education, Guy quickly advances to the nationals where he meets contestant hopeful Chaitanya (Rohan Chandz), a completely awkward young boy who is unfazed by Guy’s brash and ill-mannered ways.
As the competition weekend progresses, Guy teaches Chaitanya some dark comedic life lessons and the pair begin to form an unlikely friendship, which doesn’t go unnoticed by Jenny (Kathyrn Hahn), a reporter who has agreed to fund Guy’s competition and travel expenses in exchange for his exclusive story. With a long list of detractors and distractions that threaten to derail Guy from the competition, he must find a way to stay focused on his true mission and compete for what he so badly wants to win.
The behind-the-scenes creative team includes director of photography Ken Seng (“Project X,” “Obsessed”) as well as production designer Shepherd Frankel (“Identify Theft,” “Horrible Bosses”), costume designer April Napier (“Julia,” “The Cell”) and editor Tatiana Riegel (“Fright Night,” “The Men Who Stare At Goats”).
“Bad Words” will shoot entirely on location in Los Angeles.
Based in Los Angeles, Darko Entertainment finances modestly budgeted director driven films. Their goal is to support filmmakers with a unique voice and bring Darko’s brand to helping independent films reach a wider audience. Among Darko’s upcoming projects are “Hell Baby,” the co-directorial debut of actors Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant, and “All Is By My Side,” directed by John Ridley and starring André Benjamin.
Aggregate Films currently has a two-year, first-look deal with Universal Pictures and Universal Television that began in February of this year. Aggregate is run by Jim Garavente in tandem with Bateman. Currently, Aggregate is in post-production on the Universal Pictures film “Identity Thief,” starring Bateman and Melissa McCarthy that will be in theaters on February 8, 2013. Aggregate Films also just announced they partnered with writer and producer DJ Nash and Universal Television to create and produce “Then Came Elvis,” a single camera half-hour comedy pilot for NBC.
MXN Entertainment is a management/production company based in Los Angeles. They represent a variety of screenwriters, directors and authors. Their upcoming films include Academy Award® winner writer Diablo Cody’s untitled directorial debut starring Julianne Hough, Russell Brand and Octavia Spencer, and “Hidden” starring Alexander Skarsgard for Warner Brothers.