On February 1st, Kevin Heffernan, one fifth of the Broken Lizard comedy group–you might know them from last year’s Beerfest or Super Troopers a few years earlier–will do one of his side gigs appearing in the Happy Madison/Paramount comedy Strange Wilderness (watch the new Red Band trailer!). ComingSoon.net’s last contact with the group was our interview with Paul Soter back in April, so we hoped to get a few updates from Heffernan on what he and the group have been doing in the last eight month.
For two years consecutively, ComingSoon.net has run stories about the Broken Lizard’s comedy The Greek Road–those stories are and here if you don’t believe us–but that seems to have been tabled for now. “We tried to get that one going right before ‘Beerfest’ with Warner Bros.,” Heffernan told us, “but it’s one of these ridiculous period pieces with gods and monsters, and we just couldn’t get the budget to a place where we all agreed on it, so we said, let’s do ‘Beerfest’ then. We’re still sitting on that one. When somebody gives us a LOT of money, then we’ll go and do that one.”
Heffernan himself will direct the next Broken Lizard movie The Slammin’ Salmon, which will start shooting in January in Van Nuys independently of a studio–regular director Jay Chandrashekar had a previous commitment to direct Babymaker (see below)–and Heffernan gave us the general premise of that: “We play the wait staff of this high-end seafood restaurant in Miami, which is owned by this crazy Mike Tyson heavyweight champion kind of guy, and he owes money to the mob, so he institutes this contest to see what waiter can earn the most money in one night, and it sets out on a “Glengarry Glenn Ross” kind of thing where we all compete against each other in this one night in this restaurant to see who can earn the most money.” Heffernan mentioned Club Dread star Bill Paxton has just signed on for a role, and they’re negotiating with Michael Clarke Duncan to play the restaurant owner.
When we spoke to Paul Soter back in April, he mentioned that they were getting ready to meet with Fox about doing a Super Troopers 2, so we asked Kevin how that was going. “We’ve kind of been dancing a little with Fox Searchlight back and forth about them wanting to do it at a certain point and then we wanted to do it. We went back and forth with them, and then finally, I think it was in the summertime, we hammered out an outline, and we went in and pitched them and we started down the process of negotiating and then this strike stuff hit, so it kind of all went quiet. But yeah, we’re ready to go on it. We’re just waiting to hear what Fox wants to do with it.”
“We’ve got two or three projects, live scripts that we had going up until the strike started, so we were keeping ourselves real busy,” he mentioned when asked about their production deal with Warner Bros. “They’re all in various stages of development. ‘Funny Fat Guy,’ ‘Nutcracker’ and we have another one that’s called–well there are two titles–it’s called ‘Cockfight’ right now. Those are three live projects we have at Warner Bros. ‘Babymaker’ is a project that Pete Gaulke (who wrote “Strange Wilderness”) wrote and brought it to us at Broken Lizard, so Jay’s going to direct that one and we’re trying to get that one going for the springtime, right after we’re done with ‘Slammin’ Salmon.’ There’s still a potential, and that’s one of the ones that Jay had an obligation to and was trying to get going, whether it’s through Warner Bros. or whoever wants to make it. It’s going to be through our company, so it will be a Broken Lizard-produced movie and then Jay will direct it and then I’ll play one of the leads, but it’s not going to be the Broken Lizard ensemble, although I’m sure guys will make appearances.
“Everyone’s got their own stuff,” he continued. “Steve Lemme’s got a project he’s working on that he’s trying to get going to direct in the spring time and Paul Soter has a project he’s working on. I think right after we do ‘Slammin’ Salmon,’ everyone’s going to try and branch out and do something and then we’ll come back again and do another movie together.”
Stay tuned for our full interview with Heffernan talking about Strange Wilderness, which is out on February 1, 2008, as well as more on The Slammin’ Salmon. If that isn’t enough Broken Lizard for ya, Heffernan also told us that Paul Soter’s own directorial debut Watching the Detectives will be out in select cities on February 14.