John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein make for an unusual pair. Daley is best known as a television actor, starring on the cult TV show Freaks and Geeks and now on Bones. Goldstein is a well traveled sitcom writer, contributing to shows ranging from The PJs to The New Adventures of Old Christine. Together the two have become one of the most in-demand and successful screenwriting teams in Hollywood. Their produced work covers a range of genres: the adult dark comedy Horrible Bosses, the broad comedy The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and this weekend’s release Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.
In the following interview with Daley and Goldstein, the writing duo discusses the genesis of their writing partnership, the re-writing process on Cloudy 2 and the difficulties of writing for animation. In addition Daley and Goldstein gave updates on a number of their upcoming projects: Horrible Bosses 2, Vacation (the remake to which they’re still slated to direct), their in-development pilot Punching Out and the just-sold-to-New-Line Bad Santa-esque The Bus Driver. For the full interview, hit the jump.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 2009’s surprisingly terrific animated feature, deftly adapted a children’s picture book into a hilarious genre-blending mix of mad science run amok and action adventure disaster. Since its release, original writer/directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have moved on to helm 21 Jump Street and the forthcoming The Lego Movie. Now the reigns of the Cloudy franchise have been left in the capable hands of the original film’s storyboard artist and story team member Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn. Instead of a Frankenstein-ian/Roland Emmerich mash-up, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 entwines a riff on Jurassic Park with a surprisingly pointed satirical denouncement of corporate culture. It’s strange to think that the most pointed critique of Steve Jobs & Apple can be found in an animated sequel to an adaptation of a children’s book. For more on the film, read Matt’s review.
Anchoring the sequel yet again, Bill Hader and Anna Faris provide the voices to lead Flint Lockwood and his paramour Sam Sparks. The animated characters almost feel like doppelgangers to Hader and Faris, natural extensions of their live-action comic personas. In the following interview with Hader and Faris, the duo discuss having so much in common with their animated alter egos, the secrets to being a voice actor and how the success of the first Cloudy influenced their performances in part two. In addition, Bill Hader briefly touched upon providing voice performances for the two upcoming Pixar releases: The Good Dinosaur and Inside Out. For the full interview, hit the jump.
I adore Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s adaptation of the classic children’s book is one of the most unexpected and successful book adaptations of the past several years. Most movies based on children books are belabored, tiresome affairs, and Cloudy turned the simple idea of food falling from the sky into a weird, adorable, and hilarious animated comedy. It set an incredibly high bar for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, but new directors Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn have come close to giving us a movie as wonderful as the original. Everything that made the first Cloudy a success is still in place, even though there’s more reliance on some cheap gags. The sequel has cemented the identity of the series even though the story leaves some residual guiltiness about being a carnivore.
Andy Samberg and Terry Crews’ animated characters in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 couldn’t be more different. The brilliantly sardonic, not to mention rail-thin, Samberg goes against type as the dense, rotund ‘Baby’ Brent. Crews, on the other hand, co-stars as the hyper-masculine super cop Earl Devereaux. The militant character seems like a natural extension of Crews’ live action persona: a potent mixture of badass masculinity with an often-times-played-for-laughs vulnerability. However it’s Crews who is the newbie to the Cloudy franchise. While Samberg reprises his role from the first film, Crews takes over a part previously played by Mr. T. It’s an interesting duality: Samberg re-playing a character so far removed from himself and Crews stepping into a role seemingly tailor-made for him.
In the following interview with Samberg & Crews, the twosome discuss the vocal performance process on Cloudy 2, whether or not Crews could take Mr. T in a fight and working together on the TV show Brooklyn Nine-Nine. In addition, Terry Crews talks about working opposite Wesley Snipes on The Expendables 3. For the full interview, hit the jump.
Sony Pictures has released the first clip from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. In the upcoming sequel, Swallow Falls is under attack by mutant foods known as “foodimals”, so Flint (Bill Hader), Sam (Anna Faris), Brent (Andy Samberg), Manny (Benjamin Bratt), Earl (Terry Crews), and Steve (Neil Patrick Harris), must contain the creatures before they overrun the planet. The clip is part of the footage we saw at Comic-Con, and it shows that the movie isn’t just the food puns we’ve seen in the trailers. The same zany humor is back in full force, and this looks like it will be an incredibly fun ride.
Hit the jump to check out the clip. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 opens in 3D on September 27th.
In Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Swallow Falls is under attack by mutant foods known as “foodimals”. The audience will be under attack by the many puns, and not even the marketing is safe. Sony Pictures Animation has released six character posters for the film, and each features puns such as “Run for Your Chives” and “Fruit Loose”. Normally, these kinds of taglines would be lame, but since they actually represent the comedy featured in the film, I can get on board. If you’re going to embrace puns, take it all the way.
Hit the jump to check out the posters. The film features the voices of Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Andy Samberg, James Caan, Benjamin Bratt, and Terry Crews. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 opens in 3D on September 27th.
This week I was invited to take an early look at the hilarious new animated adventure, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, directed by Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn. The press day was held at Sony Pictures Animation Studios where I had an opportunity to talk to Anna Faris, Benjamin Bratt and Bill Hader who return in the sequel. The plot picks up right where the first film ends and reveals what happens after the island of Swallow Falls is evacuated to clean up the food disaster and Flint (Hader) discovers his infamous invention is still active and churning out deadly food monsters.
During our roundtable interview, Faris, Bratt and Hader talked about returning to their characters, working with new directors, why mining the funny in an animated feature is a unique challenge, how they often don’t know how their work looks until they experience it in a theater, why El Gallo Negro would be a cool addition to the Cloudy universe, and how they’d return if there was a Cloudy 3. They also discussed their upcoming projects including Faris’ new CBS TV show, Mom; Bratt’s PBS documentary, American Latinos; and Hader’s roles in The To Do List, The Skeleton Twins, and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, and writing on South Park.
Recently I was invited to take an early look at Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn’s hilarious new animated comedy, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, at Sony Pictures Animation Studios. The co-directors, who were story artists on the first film, took the reins from Phil Lord and Chris Miller who remain onboard as producers. Cameron and Pearn’s enthusiasm was obvious as they presented some very funny clips and cool footage from the sequel which picks up sixty seconds after the 2009 hit comedy ends.
The plot revolves around what happens after the island of Swallow Falls is evacuated to clean up the food disaster from the first film and Flint (Bill Hader) discovers his infamous invention is still active and churning out mutant food animals. He and his friends set out on a dangerous mission to save the world from adorable but deadly food monsters that include ravenous double bacon Cheespiders, Tacodiles, Shrimpanzees, Apple Pie-thons, Flamangos, Bananostritches, Fruit Cockatiels, Mosquitoast, Watermelophants, Wildebeets and more. Check out a recap of the day’s presentations and an interview with Cameron and Pearn after the jump.
Like most of you, I’m a huge fan of Bill Hader. I think he’s one of those rare performers that can do anything, and over the past few years on TV and in a number of different movies, he’s made me laugh again and again. So when I had the opportunity to speak with him last week at Comic-Con, I jumped at the chance.
During our wide ranging interview we talked about being at Comic-Con, what he collects, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, Saturday Night Live, whether he will ever cameo on SNL now that he’s left the show, coming up with the idea for the final Stefon sketch, and so much more. He also revealed that he will be writing for the entirety of South Park‘s upcoming season and talked about what it’s like to work with Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Hit the jump to watch.
A few days ago at Comic-Con, I landed an exclusive video interview with Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 directors Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn. The sequel’s plot revolves around Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) and Sam Sparks (Anna Faris) returning to Swallow Falls to clean up the mess created by the FLDSMDFR, only to find that food is now taking on the form of mutant beasts. Based on the trailers, the film looks to be every bit as zany as the first one and then some, so if you’re worried about Cameron and Pearn handling the follow-up (Phil Lord and Chris Miller directed the first one), I don’t think you have to worry.
During the interview, they talked about taking over the franchise, what the sequel is about, the development process, editing, Easter Eggs, the worldwide release schedule, the possibility of future sequels, how advances in technology have made the animation process easier, and a lot more. Hit the jump to watch. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 opens in 3D on September 27th.
Following on the heels of yesterday’s new domestic trailer for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, an international trailer has now been released online. The plot revolves around Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) and Sam Sparks (Anna Faris) returning to Swallow Falls to clean up the mess created by the FLDSMDFR, only to find that food is now taking on the form of mutant beasts. The film is one of my most-anticipated movies of the next three months, and while this trailer does retread a good portion of what we saw in the first trailer with regards to the food puns, we’re also getting more of Steve (Neil Patrick Harris). I’m curious to see if the talking monkey will have a larger role in the sequel, or if he’s just being played up in the marketing due to his popularity and ability to get quick laughs.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film also features the voices of Andy Samberg, Will Forte, and Terry Crews. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 opens in 3D on September 27th.
Benjamin Bratt turns in a fantastic performance in his first animated feature, Despicable Me 2 directed by Chris Meledandri. In the eagerly anticipated summer sequel, he voices two sides of the same character: Eduardo, the charming owner of the popular Salsa & Salsa restaurant whose larger-than-life personality is dwarfed only by the size of his waistline, and El Macho, the most ruthless, dangerous and macho super-villain who ever villained. Bratt’s character stands out among a host of new and outrageously funny characters in the hilarious comedy adventure opening July 3rd.
At the film’s recent press day, Bratt talked about replacing Al Pacino in the dual role, how he developed the voice for the character, what appealed to him about the first film and drew him to the sequel, how he found the role exciting, challenging and emancipating in a way he’d never experienced as a performer, why he’s now cool in the eyes of his kids, what it’s been like to go from drama to comedy to voicing characters in an animated film, how Modern Family helped expand the comedic possibilities of his career, his thoughts on the meaning of being manly, and his new film, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, that’s coming out this fall. Hit the jump to read the rest of the interview:
Check out some new featurettes for the following films:
- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 – Featuring the voices of Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Andy Samberg, Neil Patrick Harris, Benjamin Bratt, Terry Crews, James Caan, Will Forte and Kristen Schaal, the Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn-directed sequel opens September 27th.
- The Lone Ranger – Starring Armie Hammer in the title role and
Jack Sparrow Johnny Depp as Tonto, Gore Verbinski’s Western action-adventure rides into theaters on July 3rd.
Hit the jump to watch the featurettes.
Sony Pictures Animation has released a new featurette for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. The plot revolves around Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) and Sam Sparks (Anna Faris) returning to Swallow Falls to clean up the mess created by the FLDSMDFR, only to find that food is now taking on the form of mutant beasts. In the featurette, Terry Crews, who has replaced Mr. T as the voice of Earl Devereaux, shows us some more of the strange pun-christened leftovers that inhabit Swallow Falls. I’m not sure if the puns will be carrying the whole marketing campaign, but they’re working for now. Of course, everything works better when you add Terry Crews.
Hit the jump to check out the featurette. The film also features the voices of Andy Samberg, Benjamin Bratt, and Neil Patrick Harris. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 opens in 3D on September 27th.
Screenwriters John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein are quickly becoming the go-to guys when it comes to high-profile comedies. The duo penned 2011’s massive hit Horrible Bosses and its upcoming sequel, they wrote the script for this year’s great-looking animated follow-up Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, and they wrote and will make their directorial debut on a new Vacation film this year with Ed Helms starring as the grown-up Rusty Griswold. Their latest film, the magician comedy The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, opens in theaters today and it’s a swell mix of ridiculous characters and delightfully dark humor, with some very funny comedic performances from Steve Carell, Jim Carrey, Steve Buscemi, and Olivia Wilde.
I recently attended the press junket for The Incredible Burt Wonderstone in Las Vegas, and while there I got to sit down with Daley and Goldstein for a one-on-one interview. The duo talked about their love of magic growing up, how crazy it was to get Jim Carrey in their film, what Carrey brought to the role, the many different versions of the film’s script, and their penchant for taking jokes to some unexpected and wonderfully dark places. The two also talked about their work on Horrible Bosses 2, Cloudy 2, the Vacation film, Secret Histories, and much more. Hit the jump to read the full interview.