By Charlie Schmidlin | Indiewire April 17, 2012 at 10:38AM
The concept of masculinity has been called into question repeatedly over the past decade, and now with men turning to old-fashioned ideals and “Mad Men” re-runs for any sort of guidance, a new book-to-film adaptation, “Man Made,” aims to achieve some answers.
EW reports filmmaker Shawn Levy (“Real Steel”) will produce the film, while Jake Kasdan (“Bad Teacher”) is slated to direct. The project is based off author Joel Stein's non-fiction book of the same name (out in May), and follows an upcoming father who examines his ability to teach his future son proper masculine values. He then sets out to physically and mentally test himself for this purpose, by “riding along on a shift with firefighters, taking on an MMA fighter, going through Marine basic training, and consulting with various tough guys about what it means to be a modern American male.”
It marks an unexpected move for Levy, whose production company 21 Laps Entertainment will team up with Fox 2000 for the film, since the material seems right up his alley to direct. However, the filmmaker has collaboration on his mind rather than control. “I'm a big fan of Joel's writing, and the relatable journey he explores in 'Man Made.'" Levy said. "These elements, plus the promise of collaborating with a fantastic filmmaker like Jake Kasdan, should make for a film that's as poignant as it is funny.”
Kasdan has continued to have a high-profile career ever since his fantastic debut, “Zero Effect” in '98, and while last year's “Bad Teacher” disappointed with its tepid attempts at shocking humor, he can achieve comedy excellence when given the right material (see: “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story”). Here's hoping the creative team behind “Man Made” can deliver an honest, humorous look at parenthood, without pandering to unearned melodrama in the process. No word yet on when this will roll, but Kasdan adds it to a busy slate that also includes "Sex Tape" with Jason Segel.