Magazine article Screen International

My Idiot Brother

Magazine article Screen International

My Idiot Brother

Article excerpt

Paul Rudd stars alongside Elizabeth Banks and Zooey Deschanel in this recently wrapped ensemble comedy written and directed by Jesse Peretz.

Synopsis: Writer-director Jesse Peretz reunites with Paul Rudd, the star of his 2001 comedy The Chateau, on this recently wrapped ensemble comedy about an idealist who brings merry chaos into the lives of his three sisters in New York after he is released from prison for selling dope to an undercover police officer.

Director: Jesse Peretz

Writer: Evgenia Peretz and David Schisgall

Producers: Anthony Bregman for Likely Story, Peter Saraf and Marc Turtletaub for Big Beach

Executive producers: Caroline Jaczko, Stefanie Azpiazu and Aleen Keshishian

Cast: Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer

Financing: Big Beach

Budget: Sub-$10m

International Sales: Hyde Park International

Distribution: Big Beach represents North American rights

Language: English

Locations: In and round New York City

Shoot dates: From July for 30 days

Status: Post-production

Release date: 2011

Everybody had been eager to work with each other on the sub-$10m comedy My Idiot Brother, which recently wrapped principal photography after a 30-day shoot in and around New York. "I made a movie with Jesse before [The Ex, 2006] and I was always looking for something to do with him and he came to me with this script," Likely Story's Anthony Bregman, one of three renowned independent producers on the project, says. "It was fantastic. We worked on the script a little and it was funny and emotional. It feels like it could be commercial and yet at the same time it has integrity and it's a smart comedy with a great lead role and great supporting parts. It's not that often I get a script that feels it's so in place already. We worked on it for a few months and then it came together really quickly for the world of independent film. Paul [Rudd] came on board early and we got Peter [Saraf] involved. We will have a cut of the film less than a year after we saw this script."

"I have known Jesse and Anthony for many, many years through the New York film community and we had tried to work together in the past," Saraf, who runs Big Beach with Marc Turtletaub, says. "Anthony [brought the script] to me and I loved it and was eager to work with both of them. This movie will set a record for how quickly it came together: from the time I first read the script to the time we wrapped the shoot was four months. There's a lot about this project that's really fresh and I don't think we've seen many stories about the relationship between adult siblings. We can relate to it. It's a hilariously funny script but it's also got great heart. There are many scenes that are out-and-out funny. It's a real ensemble piece and every character is fully fleshed out with real motivations."

Peretz and his sister and Vanity Fair writer Evgenia developed the story specifically with Rudd in mind. "This is our second script together [the first hasn't been produced yet] and we wanted to write something more commercial," the director says. "We're two of four children, but for the most part we were inspired by [Woody Allen's] Hannah And Her Sisters, with more of a David O Russell feel to it. When we came up with the big, broad idea we were thinking of Paul for the main character and Emily and Zooey were originally conceived as two of the three sisters and they were all people we'd been friends with for years. Then my sister's husband David [Schisgall] got involved on the script. …

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