Rumor came in last week that John C. Reilly will star (with an impressive cast of supporting players) in Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie, the first feature-length film from comedy duo Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim. Reilly is indeed on board, joined by Zach Galifianakis, Will Ferrell, Robert Loggia, Jeff Goldblum, Will Forte, and William Atherton. Sadly, the rumor that Harrison Ford will make an appearance is false. I’m disappointed that Bob Odenkirk’s name didn’t make it from the rumored cast to this updated list, but I hope that’s merely an oversight.
Heidecker and Wareheim revealed the plot for Billion Dollar Movie: their characters “literally get a billion dollars to make a movie, and we make it, and things go awry, and Tim and I just decide to get out of Hollywood and become businessmen in an abandoned mall.” Principal photography started Friday on what is by far the biggest Tim and Eric production ever. Read what Heidecker and Wareheim had to say about the transition after the jump.
Tim and Eric are known for their work in short form comedy. The shorts rely on tapping into the truly bizarre in such a way that doesn’t require too much structure or narrative. Heidecker tells The Wrap that the experience of production companies Funny or Die and Gary Sanchez Productions helped keep things on track:
“[Funny or Die and Gary Sanchez were] there at the beginning, shaping the idea, encouraging us to write, sort of giving us a little lesson in how to make movies because we’re so used to the short format… It’s definitely the biggest thing we’ve ever done in terms of scope of the size of the production. Relative to other films, it’s tiny, but to us, it’s the biggest thing we’ve ever done, the biggest crew we’ve ever worked with and the most professional thing we’ve ever done. And the challenge is to fight against the professionalism and keep things loose.”
“Fight the professionalism”: the anthem of the anarchic comedian.
I am very much looking forward to Billion Dollar Movie, especially with this cast — but with the Tim and Eric style of comedy, there is high probability of a few transcendent moments scattered across an unwatchable feature-length mess. However, if they pull it off… well, I’ll let Wareheim take it from here:
“It really is a benchmark in the timeline of American film comedies. The start of this production is going to be looked on as a day to remember. As principal shooting begins on a film that will change American comedy… I just hope that the Academy is watching and they get on this boat early, because it’s been a while since the Academy awarded the best picture Oscar to a comedy.
It’s long past due, but this film offers the Academy the perfect opportunity to award a best picture film to a comedy and maybe even preemptively. I don’t know how that works, but we could be looking at a situation where the Oscar is awarded before the film is released.”