In the pipeline

Upcoming projects from Dennis Dugan

Dugan gives Variety readers a sneak peek at two upcoming projects, both starring Adam Sandler

“Just Go With It”

Starring: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman, Nick Swardson, Brooklyn Decker

Release date: Feb. 11

Premise: “It’s a romantic comedy. At the beginning, Adam finds out his bride-to-be has been cheating on him. Heartbroken, he goes to a bar with his wedding ring … and starts talking to a girl; she’s intrigued because she thinks he’s married, and it’d be a fling with no strings attached. He does this for 20 years, pretending to be married. Then he meets Brooklyn Decker and realizes she’s the one. Only she finds the wedding ring and realizes he’s been lying to her — she thinks it’s that he wasn’t married. Jennifer Aniston, Sandler’s gal Friday at his office, agrees to be his pretend wife and say they’re getting divorced. They meet with Brooklyn, and Aniston lets it slip she has kids. Now Brooklyn wants to meet them, thinking they’re Adam’s kids, and they all go on a trip to Hawaii. Every time Adam opens his mouth, he has to lie again. ”

Challenge: “So, by far the biggest challenge on the film was finding the perfect magical waterfall. We searched every inch of Hawaii, Oahu, Maui and Kauai. I had 11 helicopter flights, Jeep trips, motorboats, canoes, all-terrain vehicles and good old-fashioned hiking through mountains, canyons, bamboo forests, jungle, rivers and swamps. Finally, in Kauai, we heard about a secret waterfall that was so impossible to get to that even locals hadn’t visited it.

“We took a Jeep down a crazy, half washed-out road in a rainstorm. When the Jeep got stuck, we got out and hiked. What we were told was a mile turned out to be a six-mile round trip. In the rain. But when we got there, we knew we had the perfect waterfall.

“Then, of course, we had to convince the production people that it was worth it. We had to completely bulldoze and rebuild the washed-out road, gather and rent every Jeep and ATV on the island and figure out how to get a whole movie crew and all its equipment moved in and unloaded in the middle of the jungle. We did it, and it was very well worth all the crazy efforts.”

Fun fact: “Nicole Kidman is surprisingly funny.”

“Jack & Jill”

Starring: Adam Sandler, Al Pacino, Shaquille O’Neal, Dana Carvey

Release date: TBD 2011

Premise: “Adam plays Jack, a successful guy who runs an ad agency in California. He also plays his identical twin sister, Jill, who lives in the Bronx and comes out every Thanksgiving to visit. From the date of their birth, she’s a pain in his ass. One year, while visiting, she meets Al Pacino and he falls desperately in love with her. He hasn’t met a real Bronx girl in a long time. Jack, meanwhile, is trying to get Al to do a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial, so he manipulates his sister to flirt with Al and get him to do it. It’s G-rated.”

Challenge: “It was always the intention to have Adam play both parts, but we didn’t want to be like ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ with prosthetics. They are identical twins. It’s Adam as Jack, and Adam as a female of Jack. Close your eyes for a moment, and you can imagine she’s not the most attractive woman in town. The challenge is making the best twin movie we can, and learning how to do the mechanics of having two of the same guy on screen at once. We want people to find it funny and not spend the whole time going, ‘Oh, I see how they did that.’ ”

Fun fact: “Al Pacino is playing himself. He totally gets the joke.”

More articles from Billion-Dollar Filmmaker: Dennis Dugan:
Quiet hitmaker | Duo defies critics | In the pipeline | Dugan scores with sports | At work with Dugan | Filmmaker recalls favorite moment

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