Shawn Levy Talks Carlton Cuse/Hugh Jackman Project, HOW TO TALK TO GIRLS, DEADLIEST WARRIOR, HENCHMAN, INTERNS, and NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH

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Shawn-Levy-Untitled Hugh Jackman Project, HOW TO TALK TO GIRLS, DEADLIEST WARRIOR

We’ve been bringing you a multitude of updates from director/producer Shawn Levy regarding his upcoming projects over the past few days, and today we’ve got some fascinating info on a couple more films in development.  Steve recently sat down for an extended interview with Levy in which he talked about a Real Steel sequel, Frankenstein, Fantastic Voyage and Interns, The Ten Best Days of My Life starring Amy Adams and Home Movies, the animated re-imagining Kong, The Devil You Know and Fancy Nancy, and yesterday we brought you what he had to say about Table 19, Kodachrome, and Mr. Men.

Today we’re sharing what Levy had to say regarding his untitled Hugh Jackman project that’s being written by Lost co-showrunner Carlton Cuse, an adaptation of How to Talk to Girls, Henchman starring Bill Hader, a Deadliest Warrior movie, Neighborhood Watch, and Levy reveals what’s likely to be his next directorial project and discusses the difficulty of getting Frankenstein and Fantastic Voyage into the production stage. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.

hugh-jackman-Carlton-Cuse-projectLevy is attached to direct a somewhat secretive project that Lost vet Carlton Cuse is writing with Hugh Jackman is attached. While he’s not exactly permitted to go into specifics, Levy gave an update on where the project’s at development-wise:

“I’m actually not allowed to say [anything]. I will tell you that Carlton came in and he pitched me a crazy, wildly imaginative adventure thriller, and I heard it and I’m like ‘That’s a big movie’ and I took it to Hugh, and then Carlton told Hugh the idea and Hugh’s like ‘I’m in,’ and so it’s the three of us. It’s Carlton writing, me directing and producing, and Hugh starring. Carlton gave me a draft maybe a couple of months ago, I gave him some notes, and he’s doing them now. But I have high hopes for that one.”

It’s safe to say that Cuse’s first post-Lost feature is somewhat anticipated. Though Levy doesn’t give us much to go on, Jackman’s involvement bodes well for the project’s production prospects. Levy seems excited to get behind the director’s chair on the “adventure thriller”, so I’m hoping we hear more about this project relatively soon.

how-to-talk-to-girls-book-coverThe director also talked briefly about an adaptation of the book How to Talk to Girls, which was written by a 10-year-old boy. Levy revealed that he’ll likely only be producing the film, and they’re putting a somewhat different spin on the premise of the book:

How to Talk to Girls is not for me to direct. It’s based on a bestselling book by like a 10-year-old, Alec Greven. That was advice from a kid point of view to people about how to talk to girls. We’ve turned it into a kind of About a Boy-toned dramedy. It’s about a weird, completely appropriate but unlikely friendship between a grown man who’s stunted in his emotional growth and a kid who has something to teach him.”

The plot sounds incredibly similar to About a Boy—which I guess is what they’re going for—but I’ll be interested to see how their adaptation sets itself apart from the 2002 film. Last we heard, Robert Downey Jr. was eyeing the starring role. No word on whether or not he’s still involved.

vince-vaughn-owen-wilson-InternsWhen asked what his next directorial project is likely to be, Levy answered that Interns, starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, is looking like the main contender:

“I think at this exact moment the odds-on favorite would be Interns only because mounting a comedy is simply less complicated than mounting a big spectacle movie… I have a big idea, I have my cast, I have a script that just needs to get honed and polished. If Vince and I get happy with that script and Owen remains as enthusiastic as he is, if that all happens in the next month and a half then there’s probably no reason we don’t shoot that this summer.”

Levy had previously been looking to tackle Fantastic Voyage or Frankenstein next, but the director said that the two larger films are more difficult to move forward because of the larger budgets, the need for pitch perfect casting, and the complexities of the scripts. Nevertheless, Levy vows that he’ll definitely direct Fantastic Voyage sooner or later. If development on both films continues while he’s doing Interns, hopefully one will be ready to go once he wraps the comedy.

deadliest-warrior-imageThe director also briefly touched on Henchman, which Neighborhood Watch director Akiva Schaffer is set to direct with Bill Hader attached to star. Levy said it’s a smaller comedy and he’s anxious to see what Schaffer and Hader do with it. Finally, Levy talked about his adaptation of Spike TV’s Deadliest Warrior. He revealed that he’ll most likely just produce the film, but he’s hopeful it’ll start production this year:

Deadliest Warrior is based on that Spike series and we have a really good script that just got turned in to Paramount. That would probably be for me to just produce, but I wanna make that. There’s no reason that I shouldn’t cajole Paramount into making that movie this year because it’s a huge idea that basically says, ‘What if you united warriors from 12 different epochs onto the same team to do battle against and with each other?’ That’s a big fuckin’ awesome movie and it’s a really good script, so it’s something I hope we will make.”

You can watch the portion of Steve’s interview with Levy concerning the Hugh Jackman project, How to Talk to Girls, Henchman, Deadliest Warrior, and his next project below. Levy also talked about what it was like watching Vaughn, Ben Stiller, and Jonah Hill improv on the set of Neighborhood Watch. Look out for the final portion of the interview on Collider tomorrow.


Shawn Levy REAL STEEL_2Here’s the time index/partial transcript:

  • :04 How to Talk to Girls: How to Talk to Girls is not for me to direct. It’s based on a bestselling book by like a 10-year-old, Alec Greven. That was advice from a kid point of view to people about how to talk to girls. We’ve turned it into a kind of About a Boy-toned dramedy. It’s about a weird, completely appropriate but unlikely friendship between a grown man who’s stunted in him emotional growth and a kid who has something to teach him.”
  • :47 Talks about the Untitled Hugh Jackman Project that he’s working on with Carlton Cuse. “I’m actually not allowed to say [anything]. I will tell you that Carlton came in and he pitched me a crazy, wildly imaginative adventure thriller, and I heard it and I’m like ‘That’s a big movie’ and I took it to Hugh, and then Carlton told Hugh the idea and Hugh’s like ‘I’m in,’ and so it’s the three of us. It’s Carlton writing, me directing and production, and Hugh starring. Carlton gave me a draft maybe a couple of months ago, I gave him some notes, and he’s doing them now. But I have high hopes for that one.”
  • shawn-levy-image2:01 Talks about what his next project will be: “I think at this exact moment the odds-on favorite would be Interns only because mounting a comedy is simply less complicated than mounting a big spectacle movie, and it has the cast… [For Frankenstein and Fantastic Voyage] there’s three big moving pieces: the scariness of the budget, the need for exactly right casting of the right actors who happen to be available at the right moment, and then the script getting as close to perfect as possible. So that’s three moving pieces. With Interns, I have a big idea, I have my cast, I have a script that just needs to get now honed and polished. If Vince and I get happy with that script and Owen remains as enthusiastic as he is, if that all happens in the next month and a half then there’s probably no reason we don’t shoot that this summer.”
  • 3:49 “Henchman is a smaller comedy that Akiva Shaffer is attached to direct and Bill Hader is attached to star in… Akiva and Bill, they’re involved with Henchman, I’d love to see what they do with it.”
  • 4:24 “Deadliest Warrior is based on that Spike series and we have a really good script that just got turned into Paramount. That would be probably for me to just produce, but I wanna make that. There’s no reason that I shouldn’t cajole Paramount into making that movie this year because it’s a huge idea that basically says, ‘What if you united warriors from 12 different epochs onto the same team to do battle against and with each other?’ That’s a big fuckin’ awesome movie and it’s a really good script, so it’s something I hope we will make.”
  • 5:21 The experience of watching Jonah Hill, Ben Still, Vince Vaughn, etc. improv on the set of Neighborhood Watch.



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