First Jonah Hill nearly tackled writer/director Mark Duplass at the South by Southwest film festival in Austin, going on and on about how much he loved Duplass’ debut film “The Puffy Chair,” an indie fav about two brothers who go on a cross-country road trip. Then Hill went and told The New York Times that the film was one of his favorite movies of all time. By that point, Duplass figured the two of them should make some movie magic together.
So they did, along with Duplass’ brother and collaborator, Jay. “The Untitled Duplass Brothers Project,” as it continues to be known after recently wrapping a six week shoot in Los Angeles, stars Hill as the son of a single mother (Marisa Tomei) who begins a relationship with a 40-something guy (John C. Reilly) with a failed marriage in his past.
“[Tomei’s character] is very much out of his league,” Duplass explained to MTV News in a recent interview. “They light up an incredible relationship but she doesn’t really let him in and he finds himself on the other side of the coin, like wanting the snuggle and he can’t get it.”
Reilly soon discovers that she’s been hiding the fact the she has a grown son. The three of them end up having “a very bizarre, codependent relationship,” he said. “It almost develops into some obtuse love triangle, as John and Jonah wrestle for the feelings of Marisa.”
Whatever the film ends up being called—and whenever it comes out; Fox Searchlight is shooting for late this year or early next—it will strive for the same tone as “Puffy Chair” and 2008’s “Baghead.” “It’s very funny, but it’s also rooted in the humanity of these characters and a lot about what it means to be a little lonely and a little lost and trying to find your way in the world, but at the same time, all the ridiculous funny s--- you do trying to find your way,” Duplass said.
And, of course, the new movie will feature the comedic stylings of one of the most in-demand actors in Hollywood, Jonah Hill. “He’s incredible. And I’m not just saying that because you are press,” Duplass laughed. “He is so one of us, I just can’t even tell you. He came in there and he was vulnerable and no ego and f---ing hilarious and prepared things, and we’re improvising, so the s--- he’s coming up with on the spot, I never could come up with on my own. He’s humble. He’s got it.”
Which of Hill's many projects -- this one, "Funny People," "Get Him to the Greek" -- are you looking forward to the most?