By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist September 29, 2011 at 4:15AM
It has been nearly a decade since funnyman Billy Crystal has appeared on screen in a movie (and we'll overlook his cameo in "The Tooth Fairy"), seemingly perfectly content to just do voice work ("Cars," "Howl's Moving Castle") or appear in viral videos. But there is only so long you can keep somebody like Crystal away from a movie set. He's set to cameo in "The Muppets" later this year, he apparently pops up in Jonas Åkerlund's "Small Apartments" and, of course, he'll be bringing Mike Wazowski back to life in "Monsters University." But his first big starring role since "Analyze That" will be in "Us & Them" with Bette Midler and Bailee Madison, and now a couple more folks are along for the ride.
Penned by veterans and longtime Crystal collaborators Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, Crystal plays a Fresno AAA baseball announcer tasked with looking after his grandchildren, with the laughs coming from the cultural clash/generation gap. Midler will play Crystal’s wife with Madison playing of the 21st century youngsters. So why are these old timers bothering to spent their golden years chasing spoiled brats? The answer is that they hope to patch up the rift with their daughter, played by Marisa Tomei, who was cast a couple weeks back. THR reports that Tom Everett Scott will tag along as her husband.
Scott broke out by landing the lead in Tom Hanks' "That Thing You Do!" but stardom has remained elusive for him. The talented actor has become a reliable player on both the small and big screen with notable turns in middling fare like "An American Werewolf in Paris" and "Dead Man on Campus." He's done stints on "ER" and more recently "Southland," but "Us & Them" will definitely be his most substantial film part in a while, not to mention a step up from stuff like "Mars Needs Mom" and "Race To Witch Mountain."
Production on the movie begins this fall in Atlanta. This all sounds like the kind of perfect crowd pleaser that Crystal usually excels at. We're guessing you can probably expect this one next fall. Andy Fickman (“She’s the Man,” “You Again”) directs. Shudder.