Sony’s streaming service/TV network Crackle came to Winter TV Press Tour 2015 this morning to talk about its Joe Dirt sequel, Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser— which it has been touting as the first ever made-for-digital sequel to a major motion picture.
Star David Spade noted they’ve been knocking around the idea of extending the Joe Dirt franchise for some time, including a Joe Dirt cartoon “a while back” which never materialized. A Joe Dirt sequel movie also had a script but did not go anywhere until, Spade says, “[Sony Pictures Television President] Steve Mosko said, ‘We might have a perfect place for it,’ and …it got me excited again.”
Director Fred Wolf said they waited to do a sequel to the 2001 film, following the comedic misadventures of the mullet-sporting, lovable redneck, Joe Dirt, until they knew what was going to be the sequel’s “emotional drive.”
“I know we’re talking about Joe Dirt — we’re not talking Citizen Kane — but we did want there to be some emotional drive to it,” Wolf said. “And it took us a few years to think about what could be as powerful a drive as the first one had, which was pretty powerful. It was sort of it was an intangible thing that he needed to find.”
“One of the things that kind of made it exciting is the idea that [Joe Dirt] wants to find out why he feels so unlovable. His kids are going to find out what a fraud he is. And so, as an emotional center to the movie, that’s a pretty powerful drive, to just feel like you don’t deserve the great life” he now has with Brandy and their kids. Wolf said it took them “a few years to formulate that.”
It took Orson Welles about two years from the time he signed his contract with RKO until Citizen Kane was written, shot and received its American release in 1941.
Space and Wolf this morning raved about working with Crackle.
“Crackle gave us a lot of freedom to do what we wanted to do here,” Wolf said. “And so, in a way, if [Joe Dirt 2] turns out half way okay as a movie, it’s going to be a lot due to the fact that Crackle was very generous with the idea that we might know what we’re doing, after we’ve done six movies together, and we’re not total idiots, just 50% there…They kind of trusted that we knew a little bit what we’re doing with this character. And that was a great thing.”
Added Spade: “It’s nice, because you call Crackle and say, ‘We’ve got a new scene that’s not in the movie, it involves a bow tie.’ They don’t even ask what the scene is, how funny it is; they just say, ‘How much is a bow tie?’”
In other Crackle news from Press Tour: the next batch of episodes for Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee will be released this spring. It will be the sixth season for the web series, which was renewed for 24 episodes back in April. The web series, from Sony Pictures TV’s Embassy Row, has been twice nominated for Emmys and is Crackle’s most popular series with nearly 70 million streams since its July 2012 debut.
Also at its portion of the TCA press tour, Crackle said the feature film adaptation of the Dead Rising: Watchtower video game franchise will be released on March 27. The film will also be released on SVOD, DVD, VOD and TV and stars Jesse Metcalfe, Meghan Ory, Virginia Madsen and Dennis Haysbert as a group who must evade infection after a large-scale zombie outbreak while also pursuing the root of the epidemic — with all signs pointing to a government conspiracy.
That news comes on the heels of the service re-dating its cyber-attack movie The Throwaways, which was set to bow last month but was delayed by the Sony hacking attack. It now will begin streaming January 30. Director Tony Bui’s pic stars Sam Huntington as a notorious hacker who uses his smarts to track down another cyber-attacker.
Crackle also said today that its Dan Patrick-hosted Sports Jeopardy! will feature a second screen feature on mobile that will enable viewers to sync with the weekly show to win exclusive awards. It is now available on iOS, Google Play and Amazon.