Screenwriter Michael Bacall Updates the Les Grossman Movie and 21 Jump Street Sequel
03.06.12 by Ryan
It's been almost a year since we heard anything about Paramount's Untitled Les Grossman project, which will star Tom Cruise as the foul-mouthed movie producer character he played in the 2008 comedy, Tropic Thunder. Last April, Bill Hader, who played Grossman's assistant Rob Slolom, revealed that screenwriter Michael Bacall (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) had finished the script for the movie, which was the first news about the project since Paramount studio announced the spin-off in June of 2010.
With Bacall coming off the success of the found footage party movie Project X as well as the upcoming comedy 21 Jump Street, THR asked Bacall for an update on the project, with the writer revealing that the tone of the spin-off would likely "fall in between" both of his most recent projects, as the script tries to turn Cruise's cameo into a leading man character.
I think people would be disappointed if that character didn’t carry around that explosive rage that we associate with him, and that’s what makes his performance so enjoyable. But none of us feel like the movie could sustain what was a 90-minute Les Grossman tirade. So we want to try and get a little bit of a glimpse of where that rage is coming from. The guy will be a force of nature, but we want to have some kind of emotional connection to him.
While Bacall offered no timeline for when Cruise will put on Les' bald cap once more, he did admit he was excited to work on the movie because of his love of the character.
I felt really great about that from the beginning because I loved the character. Tom had an incredible idea on how to tell this story, and give it some real emotion and heart. And as soon as he hit on that idea, it was off to the races. But I feel really good about that project, and I hope that it will happen.
21 Jump Street doesn't open until next week, but co-star Jonah Hill has already revealed that Columbia wants a sequel. During the interview, Bacall confirmed that "we’re talking about it" while being cautious about revealing much about what he and Hill have planned for another installment.
I think on the first day that Jonah and I sat down we had the idea where the sequel could take place. That’s about probably all I should say about that right now.