Walt Becker

Director rides 'Hogs' success to other projects

While he first made a name for himself by helming the raunchy National Lampoon-branded pic “Van Wilder” back in 2002, Becker took his career to the next level in 2007 in the family comedy realm. Disney’s “Wild Hogs” brought Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence, William H. Macy and John Travolta together for an unlikely buddy-movie hit. Now, the 39-year-old Becker looks to top his “Wild” performance with several new comedy projects in the hopper.

He’s reunited with Disney and Travolta for “Old Dogs,” stacking the deck with Robin Williams, Kelly Preston, Matt Dillon, Seth Green and Bernie Mac in a story of two longtime business partners suddenly saddled with taking care of their kids.

Disney has also tapped Becker to direct “Link,” an adventure comedy based on his own 1998 novel, concerning a paleontologist and maverick scientist who search for evolution’s missing link. And “Wild Hogs 2,” the director reveals, could start shooting next August, taking the gang for a European ride.

Point of view

Becker says that while he’s been “blessed with incredibly great scripts, I always try to beat whatever is on the page. It may be a little naive, but when I come up with an actor that I want to work with, I’ll call them and say, ‘It’s not written yet, but here’s what I wanna do.’ We end up writing with that actor in mind. You have to elevate each scene that they’re in — all of the sudden, you’re elevating your entire movie.”

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