OK, let's start out with a kind of thin, but very interesting tidbit. During our recent conversation with the SNL comedian about "Paul" (hits theaters March 18), his upcoming Greg Mottola-helmed, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost-starring sci-fi roadtrip comedy, the funnyman unloaded an array of information on us, including what he was having for lunch later that day. Between telling us about three new projects ("Henchman," "Vaughn Meader," and casting on "The Hand Job"), Hader told us about a new project that he's writing with Vernon Chatman ("Jackass: The Movie") for Academy Award-winning producer Scott Rudin ("The Social Network," "True Grit").
But apparently it's a bit secret, because as soon as Hader started talking about it, he clammed up. "It's a lot of fun...," he said before pausing and trailing off. "But I don't know if I should talk about what it is," he added. And that's pretty much all we got. Any guesses? New-ish Scott Rudin projects in development include a remake of Robert Mulligan's "Same Time, Next Year" at Universal, an action-adventure family picture called, "In Search of the Castaways" at Walt Disney, another Disney-set thriller called, "The Staircase," the Untitled Beer Summit Project at Columbia, and Fox's "The Dangerous Book for Boys," but guesses are a fool's errand. Rudin has dozens of projects in development, so we'll just have to wait and see if an answer appears.
Meanwhile during our chat, we inquired about a project that we heard about earlier this year, "House of Joel" (which was once called "When A Stranger Calls A Dude"), which was a script he pitched to Judd Apatow along with co-writer Simon Rich. Described as a slasher-comedy that is a crazy meeting of "Straw Dogs," "Halloween," "Home Alone" and "Monster Squad" (would love to go to that party), little was known about the story and all we were heard in December was that it was still, eventually happening.
Hader gave us a small update, include its name change (it appears there isn't one anymore).
"Well, I'm not sure it's called 'House of Joel' anymore. I don't know what's happening with it exactly. Judd, me, and ["Human Giant" director] Jason Woliner are gonna meet in L.A. soon to figure out what the next steps are. It's a funny, funny script and it's Judd's take on a slasher movie. It's been a long gestating project, but i think it's worth it because it just keeps getting better."
He didn't stop there, though, and was happy to give us a brief synopsis of new film.
"I play a guy who finds out that his girlfriend was basically a Laurie Strode-type [Jamie Lee Curtis' character] from 'Halloween.' She's been hiding the fact that 15 years ago she survived this horrible night and the way I find this out is that I inadvertently take her back to her home town as a surprise and reawaken all the evil. It's kind of about getting over your girlfriend's past kinda thing. It's sort of like having to deal with, 'You did what!?'"
Hopefully this comes together because it's a very interesting premise that has plenty of room for laughs. One thing that isn't getting enough talk is the fact that all of the recent Hader project news seem to be movies in which he'd play the lead -- a first for the comedy-actor. Would he be able to lead a movie? "Paul" proved that he doesn't have to be a likable good guy -- he can be a ruthless antagonist and still provide plenty of laughs -- and his scene-stealing characters in "Superbad," "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," and "Pineapple Express" show that he has a real commanding presence. If he's the front man for projects as interesting as this or "Vaughn Meader," consider us there.
In the mean time, stay tuned for more coverage on Greg Mottola's "Paul," which is released next Friday. -Additional reporting by Christopher Bell.