As you may have noticed, last week I got the chance to sit down with screenwriters/directors Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg in anticipation of the release of the third film in their Harold & Kumar franchise, A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas. We talked about the film and the future of the franchise, as well as a Harold & Kumar animated series that they’re currently shopping to networks. Additionally, I talked to them a bit about American Reunion, which they wrote and directed. The film reunites the entire original cast of American Pie as they gather for their high school reunion.
Hurwitz and Schlossberg talked about how they got involved with the film, how the American Pie comedy differs from the comedy of Harold & Kumar, the plot of the film, what kind of music will be featured, how they plan to shock audiences in 2011, and much more. Hit the jump to watch the interview.
- Hurwitz and Schlossberg were approached about their interest in an American Pie high school reunion during pre-production on Harold & Kumar 3. They liked the characters, pitched their take to Universal, and landed the job.
- 1:50 – The R rating is built in to the American Pie franchise. But unlike the similarly raunchy humor of the Harold & Kumar movies, the humor of American Pie is more situational comedy.
- 2:50 – By the time Hurwitz and Schlossberg came on board, most of the cast was informally committed to the project. Hurwitz says they would not have been interested unless the fourth movie brought back the ensemble of the first three.
- 4:00 – The story is set in present day at the 13th high school reunion, 8 years after Jim and Michelle’s wedding. Schlossberg says this feels like “the natural sequel” to the first movie.
- 6:30 – It’s harder to shock audiences than it was in 1999, but they write situations that make sense for these characters to go through, then come up with “a few gems” from there.
- 7:00 – They are “equal opportunity nudists.” They included a set piece in the new movie that they hope rivals the Shannon Elizabeth nude scene of the first movie.
- 10:00 – They talk about shooting TV-friendly versions of different scenes.
- 12:00 – They have test-screened the movie to a few small audiences. Schlossberg doesn’t expect to change much before the release date, but the 5-10% that does change could have a big impact on the movie.
- 12:30 – The movie will likely be between 95-105 minutes. They try to find the balance between too short and too long.
- 14:00 – Because everyone is coming back, there are a lot of characters and storylines to service.
- 15:00 – They’ve had a great working relationship with Universal on American Reunion. There is the occasional disagreement, but everyone is trying to make the movie better.
- 16:10 – They’ve shown their “director’s cut” to the studio and a few test audiences.
- 16:40 – The music isn’t set yet, but there will be a mix of 90s classics (true to the reunion setting) and newer songs (so the movie doesn’t feel dated).
- 17:20 – They shot in Atlanta for tax reasons, but it was an “awesome place to shoot.” Shooting on location made it feel like camp for the actors, which aided the reunion feel.
- 18:40 – There was a lot of public interest in the American Reunion shoot, but they were very focused by the many tasks of a director.
- 20:10 – They are focusing on American Reunion right now. But they are thinking about future projects, both original ideas and franchises like Harold & Kumar and American Pie. They mention the possibility of a Harold & Kumar animated TV show.