Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pitch meeting

Defying the filmmaking rule that you don't talk about upcoming projects until you're actually on set and the cameras are rolling, Steve Conrad -- writer and director of the new John C. Reilly/Seann William Scott workplace comedy, The Promotion -- laid out the plot details of his probably-going-to-happen next pic, with Jack Black committed to star. It's called The Expanding Mailman. Here goes:

"Essentially, The Expanding Mailman is about a graduate student of astrophysics at MIT and while he’s on lunch break he’s staring at a sunflower.... Something about the geometry of the sunflower face allows him to glimpse the mathematical expression that explains the origins of the universe. So he’s discovered, essentially, why we’re here, in math, and he’s so overcome by it that he bursts into this very famous professor’s lecture hall, and interupts the lecture.

"And in his enthusiasm to share this revelation he grabs the professor very roughly and starts screaming this theory — just out of sheer glee. But the professor thinks he’s being assaulted and calls campus security and they sedate the student, and he wakes up the next morning in a straitjacket having barely retained this very long theory in his head, and escapes into the town to try to find a pen so he can write it down.

"He gets kicked out of school and he is having a credit withheld, and so he becomes a mailman, and the story starts 15 years later where he’s been a mailman for 15 years and he’s haunted by having at one point understood Everything and now he just can’t remember. And then the real movie starts… a big, crazy adventure."

Conrad, whose script credits include The Weatherman and The Pursuit of Happyness, will direct. He hopes.

"People tell you not to talk about them until they’re real. But they’re never real, so you have to just pretend that you’re making it. Next thing you know, someone shows up with a camera."