Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' First Official Look: Jared Leto As The Joker In 'Suicide Squad' First Official Look: Jared Leto As The Joker In 'Suicide Squad' Joss Whedon Says He Earned More Making 'Dr. Horrible' Than 'The Avengers,' Weighs In On Marvel Vs. DC Joss Whedon Says He Earned More Making 'Dr. Horrible' Than 'The Avengers,' Weighs In On Marvel Vs. DC Tom Hardy Met Mel Gibson And Made Him A Bracelet, Says Michael Fassbender Was "The Sh*t" In School Tom Hardy Met Mel Gibson And Made Him A Bracelet, Says Michael Fassbender Was "The Sh*t" In School Native Actors Walk Off Set Of Adam Sandler's 'Ridiculous 6' Over Disrespectful, Insulting Script Native Actors Walk Off Set Of Adam Sandler's 'Ridiculous 6' Over Disrespectful, Insulting Script Watch: Johnny Depp Rages As Whitey Bulger In First Trailer For Gangster Tale 'Black Mass' Watch: Johnny Depp Rages As Whitey Bulger In First Trailer For Gangster Tale 'Black Mass' Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' And More Added To Cannes Film Festival Lineup Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' And More Added To Cannes Film Festival Lineup First Look: Johnny Depp Goes Gangster In As Whitey Bulger In 'Black Mass' First Look: Johnny Depp Goes Gangster In As Whitey Bulger In 'Black Mass' Watch: Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Anne Hathaway, Michael Fassbender And More Talk The Art Of Acting Watch: Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Anne Hathaway, Michael Fassbender And More Talk The Art Of Acting Review: Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Starring Robert Downey Jr. Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson & More Review: Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Starring Robert Downey Jr. Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson & More Watch: Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, And More Talk The Art Of Filmmaking Watch: Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, And More Talk The Art Of Filmmaking Christopher Nolan's Favorite Sequence From His Movies Is The Airplane Kidnapping Scene From 'The Dark Knight Rises' Christopher Nolan's Favorite Sequence From His Movies Is The Airplane Kidnapping Scene From 'The Dark Knight Rises' Joss Whedon Calls Edgar Wright's 'Ant-Man' "The Best Script Marvel Ever Had," Warns Of Serialized Moviemaking Joss Whedon Calls Edgar Wright's 'Ant-Man' "The Best Script Marvel Ever Had," Warns Of Serialized Moviemaking The 41 Most Anticipated Movies Of Summer 2015 The 41 Most Anticipated Movies Of Summer 2015 Watch: First Teaser For 'Star Wars: Rogue One,' Plot Details Confirmed Watch: First Teaser For 'Star Wars: Rogue One,' Plot Details Confirmed The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki

So, Ben Stiller Pretty Much Made Sure Todd Louiso's 'The Marc Pease Experience' Didn't Get A Proper Release

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist June 18, 2012 at 5:23PM

You would think that a comedy starring Ben Stiller, Jason Schwartzman and Anna Kendrick would be a no brainer for some kind of a release, even if modest, but back in 2009, "The Marc Pease Experience" was unceremoniously dumped on ten screens for one week only (and not even in standard release cities like New York City or Los Angeles) before quickly disappearing and living on in an eventual DVD release. It was an unfortunate to end to a film that had tremendous promise, but it was rocky production from the shot.
7
Ben Stiller The Marc Pease Experience

You would think that a comedy starring Ben Stiller, Jason Schwartzman and Anna Kendrick would be a no brainer for some kind of a release, even if a modest one, but back in 2009, "The Marc Pease Experience" was unceremoniously dumped on ten screens for one week only (and not even in standard release cities like New York City or Los Angeles) before quickly disappearing and living on in an eventual DVD release. It was an unfortunate end to a film that had tremendous promise, but it was a rocky production from the shot.

"We shot and were editing, then realized we needed to go back and add some stuff, which isn't uncommon, and then the writer's strike hit. So we had to wait for 6 months, then we got the footage in and it looked good. And it was while we were finding a release date that Paramount Vantage went under," director Todd Louiso told us a few weeks before the film's release. "It's been really hard to accept that role [of just waiting helplessly for the thing to come out]. To have complete control over it and then to have no control, and give it over, it's been tough."

While there are times when a film can do well in limited release prompting further expansion, Louiso was pretty candid that this likely wasn't going to happen (and it didn't). "There's a possibility that it could gain momentum and have a wider platform release, but it's unlikely because of the level of PR the studio has committed," he said, and Paramount really did nothing for the film in terms of getting the word out. But it seems there was another factor at play from someone who had a vested interest in making sure the movie stayed buried.

In this week's issue of the New Yorker, there is an extensive profile on Stiller, which, among other things, paints him as someone who tirelessly fights for quality control (sometimes rubbing people the wrong way). "Paramount could have put the movie out there as the next big Ben Stiller movie, but that would have been fooling the audience," he candidly reveals. The New Yorker piece goes on to add, "Instead, his agent Nick Stevens called Paramount to ask the studio to weigh the short-term loss of limiting the film's release against the long-term relationship with [Stiller]." And the rest, as they say, is history and Paramount's barely there release made sure nobody heard about it, with the film grossing $4,033 in theaters.

"I want people who have strong ideas, and who stand up for them. But it's a tough balance, for Akiva [Schaffer, director of 'Neighborhood Watch'], when I say, 'Be an auteur -- but, oh, by the way, that's not funny, and I'm not doing that scene," Stiller admitted about his tough love approach with filmmakers. "While you do have to place your trust in a director, ultimately the audience holds me responsible -- it's a Ben Stiller movie if it fails."

While there is something to be said about sticking by your director through both good and bad, he does have a point. Quick! Name the guy who directed "That's My Boy" this weekend -- had to think about it, or look it up right? And if you look at any of the headlines or coverage for that the film, all the vitriol is directed (deservedly) at Adam Sandler, while there is little for Sean Anders and his equally shitacular direction (what's up with random handheld?). Comedies, perhaps more than any other genre, are bought and sold on the actors, not on the director, so the stakes can be high for a funnyman in the material isn't there (or wasn't what they thought it would be).

Anyway, you can rent "The Marc Pease Experience" and see if Stiller was justified or not in pulling rank with the studio. Both star and director have since moved on to bigger and better, with the actor featuring in this summer's "Neighborhood Watch" and Louiso making a fantastic return with his Sundance hit "Hello I Must Be Going" (our review here). So you can just file this under your movie trivia folder for now.

This article is related to: Ben Stiller, Todd Louiso, The Marc Pease Experience


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates