10 Directors to Watch 2013: Jon Lucas & Scott Moore

After giving audiences one wild ride after another with their scripts for “The Hangover,” The Change-Up” and “Four Christmases,” Jon Lucas and Scott Moore decided it was time to take greater control of their comedic vision, applying the successful “Hangover” formula to their shared directorial debut, “21 and Over.” The laffer, set on the eve of a big med school interview, tracks three college-age guys (played by Miles Teller, Skylar Astin, Justin Chon) whose wild and crazy exploits form the pieces of a key mystery.

Lucas and Moore met while working for scribe Dan Petrie Jr. (“Beverly Hills Cop”) about 15 years ago. “He was a very benevolent boss who gave good notes on our writing,” recalls Moore. The friends finished their first script in 1999, but were disappointed when their first produced feature — basketball-themed Martin Lawrence starrer “Rebound” — fizzled.

Still, Lucas says, “There’s nothing like going out the first day ever on your own movie set.”

According to Moore, directing together is similar to writing together: “We pass ideas and opinions back and forth till we have one we agree is best, and that’s what happens whether you’re on set or breaking story.” Lucas adds that the biggest difference in helming lies in casting actors who fit their vision of the roles.

Though “21 and Over” may feel familiar to “Hangover” fans, Lucas says, “The truth is that Scott and I are getting older, and there’s only so long we can keep our feet in those worlds (of comic debauchery).” The duo eventually hope to write deeper comedies in the vein of such heroes as James L. Brooks and Cameron Crowe, but plan to stick to their creative partnership.

“It was nice having your sounding board for 13 years sitting right next to you,” Lucas says. “It would have been way more daunting on my own.”

Homebase: Los Angeles
Inspired by: Lucas cites Judd Apatow, while Moore says, “I really love ‘Groundhog Day’ because it’s funny, the characters seem real, it has a real emotional core and is structurally brilliant.”
Reps: Agent: Gregory McKnight (CAA); Lawyer: Warren Dern (Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern)

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