May 29, 2009

danny_mcbride_image.jpgEarlier today I participated in a roundtable interview with Danny McBride for his upcoming movie “Land of the Lost”. As a huge fan of Danny’s work in “The Foot Fist Way”, “Tropic Thunder”, and “Eastbound and Down”, I’m happy to report that Danny is fantastic in “Land of the Lost” and he has some great scenes with Will Ferrell. If you’ve been watching “Eastbound” on HBO, you know what I’m talking about.

Anyway, while I’ll be posting the full transcript in the coming days, here’s some selected quotes on “Eastbound and Down”, “Your Highness” and “Mr. Machine”.

On “Your Highness”:

  • Natalie Portman just signed on
  • They filming in some of it in Belfast and the shooting schedule is from the second week of July till the middle of October
  • Says it’s like “Barry Lyndon” meets “Krull”
  • It’s about two brothers (James Franco and Danny) whose fiancée gets kidnapped by an evil wizard and we have to go on the road and save her. There’s everything from stop-motion creatures to puppets like in “Dark Crystal”
  • They’re going for a British cast and not necessarily comedians for the rest of the parts

On “Eastbound”:

  • Danny says he’s open to a third season but it hasn’t been decided
  • The second season might be 8 episodes
  • Will Ferrell might be back on the next season
  • They are going to film it end of this year or early next year

On “Mr. Machine”:

  • It’s an old script that David Green and Danny wrote.
  • It takes place in the 80s and has kind of a “Gremlins” like feel to it.
  • They make this robot for their science project and it ends up taking over their town.

For exactly what Danny said about all these movies, the transcript is after the jump.

eastbound_and_down_poster_01.jpgQuestion: Jody [Hill] talks about how he envisions “Eastbound and Down” as a two-season show.  Do you see it that way or do you think there could be a third season?

DANNY MCBRIDE: Well how we approached the first season was, you know, we had an initial idea for how the whole show would go if there was enough interest and had a little bit of a run with it but we approached the first season as, “Well, let’s make this so it can stand on its own,” and that’s how we’re going to approach the second season.  And there might be a third season because we have a three-act idea of where the story goes but that would be three seasons but this second season could stand on its own if no one watched it but we have a plan for what a third would be if we got the chance to do it.

Would it be another short six episodes?

MCBRIDE: I don’t know what it’s going to be.  It might be eight episodes.  It was our choice to keep it small to keep control of the whole thing.  We didn’t have to hire a whole writing staff or some formula where other people are doing it.  We’re all very, very hands-on.  We’re all in the editing room all the time, we oversee everything and so six seemed like it was manageable with everything else we had going on and so we’d probably still keep it small.

Does keeping it small mean that HBO has different expectations for what would constitute a hit?

MCBRIDE: HBO’s so strange because they’re subscription-based and it’s not like regular television.  They obviously want people to watch the shows that are on there but reviews matter more to an extent because if they have shows that are reviewed good, then that gives people a reason to subscribe to the network.  So with that, it was almost like the initial batch of reviews was more important in a way.

One of the great things about the show was the opening.  Are you already thinking about how you’re going to top those in the second season?


MCBRIDE: The thing is we had a plan for where we’d go so it’s one of those things we’re really feeling good about is that we don’t have to re-step over the same stuff but the second season will be pretty crazy.  It’s gonna catch people by surprise and we’re treating this series as if it’s one giant movie.  The second act of a film isn’t the same stuff as the first.  So this is definitely the second act of a larger story.

Will Will Ferrell be returning?

MCBRIDE:  He may show up.  We’ll see.

Are you going to get to do “Your Highness”?

MCBRIDE: We’re actually doing that right now.  I just came from Belfast and that’s shaping up really nice.  We just snagged Natalie Portman this week and it’s gonna be Natalie Portman and myself and we’re looking to lock down the rest of the cast in the next week or so but it’s looking like it’s going to be a pretty crazy movie.  All the sets are being built and they’re huge and I have to learn how to ride a horse and swing a sword next week so that should be interesting.

So it’s like a stoner-medieval comedy?

MCBRIDE:  It’s not really stoner.  I mean, I guess it’s stoner as much as “The Lord of the Rings” was for that culture.  If you’re stoned you’ll probably get into it but my character is a lazy, second-born prince who knows he’s not going to be king so he just fucks off all the time and he smokes a lot of grass but it’s not centered around that.  But it’s about two brothers and Franco plays my brother and he’s like an action star and everyone loves him and his fiancée gets kidnapped by an evil wizard and we have to go on the road and save her.  It’s a quest tale with our fucked up view on it.  But there’s everything from stop-motion creatures in it to puppets like in “Dark Crystal” but it’s a lot that we’re going to be pulling from.

Did you have fun in that fantasy-magical aspect of it?


MCBRIDE: Yeah, and we don’t want it to be a spoof at all.  We just want it to be inspired by those things.  That’s been kind of interesting in the meetings with like Universal and they’re like, “So what is this thing?”  “It’s BARRY LYNDON meets KRULL.”

Who’s directing this?

MCBRIDE: David Gordon Green, so it should be crazy.

What’s “Mr. Machine”?

MCBRIDE: “Mr. Machine” is an old script that David and I wrote together.  It takes place in the 80s and has kind of a “Gremlins”-like feel to it.  They make this robot for their science project and it ends up taking over their town.  We were able to get it sold once things started popping.

Is there a role for you in that?

MCBRIDE: There would be, yeah, if it got made.

You mentioned there’s a wizard in “Your Highness”.  Would you ever approach an Ian McKellan or a Christopher Lee?


MCBRIDE: There were thoughts about that.  We’re taking the casting very seriously.  David’s been over in London casting and for the most part, besides Natalie, Franco, and myself, we’re going for a British cast and not necessarily comedians.  We want the world to feel like it’s a fantasy movie and it is serious and the comedy comes from “This is the last guy who is supposed to be in this world,” so that caliber of actor is definitely something we would be interested in just to make it feel like it’s as real (or at least as real as a fantasy movie can feel).

How long is the shoot for that?

MCBRIDE: We start in the second week of July and go to the middle of October.

And HBO is being flexible and just whenever the next season comes?

MCBRIDE:  It’s definitely a priority of ours and we want to get back to it so we’re going to be working on it while we’re doing “Your Highness” and like writing scripts and stuff.  We’ll probably try to shoot it at the end of this year, beginning of next year.

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