Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
While the masses will head to the likes of Despicable Me 2 and The Lone Ranger this Fourth of July weekend, some who beat to a different drum will seek new specialty films taking a break from the heat and the BBQs. Fox Searchlight is opening The Way, Way Back with Steve Carell and Sam Rockwell, probably the weekend’s highest-profile limited-run title. Millennium Films will debut Stuck In Love this weekend. The filmmaker with Kristen Bell, Jennifer Connelly as well as a surprising addition the cast. The filmmaker lured his childhood hero, author Stephen King to join the project after relaying a childhood story. First Run’s A Girl And A Gun is one of the weekend’s nonfiction offerings, spotlighting guns and women. Cohen Media Group’s Just Like A Woman is the first U.S. production of France-born filmmaker Rachid Bouchareb. And Magnolia’s Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me spotlights ’70s band Big Star. Its release will mirror a slew of special events.
The Way, Way Back
Directors-writers: Nat Faxon, Jim Rash
Cast: Steve Carell, AnnaSophia Robb, Toni Collette, Sam Rockwell, Amanda Peet
Distributor: Fox Searchlight
Producer Kevin Walsh had been a fan of The Way, Way Back script since it first appeared on the Black List. Walsh met co-writer/co-director Jim Rash and began putting together a plan for the project in 2010. He had been looking for a project that was under $5 million. “The timing was great,” said Walsh. “We spent a year attaching people and were able to get [Steve] Carell. That propelled us when he became attached.” Initially, production was set for North Carolina but moved to south of Boston to accommodate Carell. The shoot ran pretty smoothly minus some bumps. Photography took place at a water park where regular customers were present. “We couldn’t afford to close the whole thing,” noted Walsh. “At one point Sam Rockwell used the PA system for one scene and didn’t realize his voice was being broadcast throughout the whole park. The owner of the park ran over and grabbed the mic from him.” The production also battled rain, including torrential downpours in the last eight hours of the shoot. “We joked that it was Nat and Jim’s baptism,” said Walsh.