Ran into David Gordon Green the other day-- ya know, the Richardson-reared maker of such indie films as George Washington, All the Real Girls and the debuted-at-Sundance Snow Angels, starring Kate Beckinsale, Sam Rockwell and Amy Sedaris. He mentioned he was about to ship off to Los Angeles to start shooting his first big big-budget movie: the stoner-slacker comedy The Pineapple Express, which will reunite much of the Freaks and Geeks gang (stars James Franco and Seth Rogen, producer Judd Apatow). He starts shooting in March; thing'll cost about, oh, $20 million, which, till now, DGG could have used to make, oh, six movies.
In others words, Green's looking to become the next Richard Linklater, bouncing from studio project to indie love affair should he hit it big with one mainstream laffer. (The Pineapple Express could, maybe, be his School of Rock.) And it means that, for the moment and the forseeable future, Green's not going to make Will Clarke's Lord Vishnu's Love Handles, which we first reported way back here (and here). Also, Green says the script's way too expensive at the moment -- like, oh, $80 million or so, where initially all involved figured the movie would cost $20 mil. "I mean, you need a lotta money to blow up Las Vegas," Green says.
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Clarke says he's "bummed that DGG isn't still attached" and says his L.A.-based agent and manager are "trying to repackage the project." The Hollywood version of Clarke's other novel, The Worthy, is still on track for a 2008 release through Sony Pictures, so he has that to soothe his soul. Lord Vishu's Love Handles remains at Paramount, which actually bought the rights to the novel. Still, looks like that project's about to start back at zero. --Robert Wilonsky