August 25, 2009

Jason Bateman (1).jpg

The other day I got to participate in a roundtable interview with Jason Bateman for his new movie “Extract”. While I’ll have a complete transcript next week, I wanted to post some highlights today. After all, who doesn’t want to hear the latest update on the “Arrested Development” movie? Also, we got him to talk about his work in the just wrapped Simon Pegg/Nick Frost movie “Paul”, his romantic comedy “The Baster”, and would he like to make a “Hancock” sequel. His answers after the jump:

jason_bateman_03.jpgBefore getting to the quotes, last night news broke that Sony hired Adam Fierro and Glen Mazzara to write the sequel to “Hancock”. Since this interview took place prior to that news getting out, Jason’s answer might have changed. But the thing to take away from his answer is that he pays attention to what’s going on just like all of us. While we’d like to think every actor knows exactly what’s going on behind the scenes, most of the time they’re in the same boat as everyone else…waiting for the studio to decide what to do. But based on what Jason said, I’m pretty sure he’s in if a sequel to “Hancock” gets made.

Anyway, here’s what Jason said about “Arrested Development” movie, “Paul”, “The Baster” and a “Hancock” sequel:

Question: What is the state of “Arrested Development”?

Jason Bateman: The script’s being written and when Mitch is done with it we can go to the scheduling part of it which will probably prove to be a bit challenging given the size of the cast.

And they’re all attached?

Jason: He is asked us not to speak about specifics, but that he’s working on it.

It seems like 5 or 6 months there was a lot of momentum. A lot of people talking about the film. And then it seemed like it sort of got a little bit quiet. Everyone’s a little nervous it’s actually happening. Is it, in fact, actually being written right now?

tobias.jpgJason: Yes.

That’s 100%?

Jason: Yeah. Yeah. That’s never changed. I mean people have guessed and “rumored” and all that other stuff in all areas of the media. I’ve always been a little sort of…I’ve always felt bad that I never had more information to give people when they asked me about it, but I guess people kind of got frustrated by that and they just started kind of making up their own sort of “well, we haven’t heard that much” or “news hasn’t changed so it must be going away”. I don’t know. It sort of took a life of its own on and fatigue started to set in I think about the whole story of it. I mean, there’s really no need to write anything about it at all until he’s done writing it. Once he writes it then, just like any movie, then it becomes something a little bit more real and then you try to figure out scheduling and you try to figure out people’s deals. I mean, it’s got the same life that any other project would have. It has just as much a chance of happening as it does of not happening really.

You’ve got this other movie coming out called “The Baster”. Can you tell us a little bit about that and is that sort of a romance in the….?

Jason: It’s a romantic comedy with Jennifer Aniston. It’s less than traditional. There’s some sperm swapping going on there. You’ll have to stay tuned for the details on that but I think that’ll probably be the first quarter of next year. I see a little bit of it tomorrow for the first time going in to do some ADR, but I hear they’re really, really happy with it.

Is that something new for you in terms of…

Jason: The sperm swapping?

The sperm swapping and the role. I mean obviously there’s a romantic arc.

Jason: Well, I haven’t done a romantic comedy before, but it’s new for me in that sense and again, it’s nice that I’m it’s another one that I’m sort of on every page and I like being hired to do more and more stuff. Carry more and more responsibility. It’s nice I’m getting that trust.

paul_set_photo_greg_mottola_simon_pegg_nick_frost_01.jpgYou just wrapped in New Mexico on “Paul”.

Jason: Yeah.

You had a hell of a cast. Could you talk a little bit about working with Simon, Nick, Kristin and your character?

Jason: They’re really obviously the cool kids and it’s nice to get invited to those parties. So I enjoyed my stay there and tried not to get kicked out and stayed and helped them clean up afterwards. It was a lot of fun and it’s always nice to be part of an ensemble with people that you admire. It was an easy yes.

Well, you played an Agent? Could you talk about who you play in the film?

Jason: Yeah, a Federal Agent. A guy, sort of a humorless guy, with aviators and a dark suit that’s sent from the base to go track down the alien and bring him back to Area 51. Sort of the Yaphet Kotto part in “Midnight Run”.

hancock_movie_image_will_smith__6_.jpgPeter Berg started talking a little bit about a “Hancock” sequel. Is that something you’d go back to?

Jason: Oh yeah in a heartbeat. Yeah, that’s not a tough decision. I hope that happens. I don’t know if that’s a significant story. I read that, too. I’m sure he wasn’t really passing on anything more substantive than just anytime Will Smith does anything it lends itself to a franchise. And they were talking about a sequel while we were in the middle of shooting that. So I don’t think he was saying that anything’s happened that’s triggered real movement on that. I’m sure he probably just answered the question if somebody said “Hey what about a sequel for “Hancock”? He probably said, “Oh yeah sure. Wouldn’t it be cool if we did this?” I don’t think anything’s really moved.

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