Think of it as “Project Greenlight” meets “8 ½.”
“About a Boy” co-helmer Chris Weitz and writers David Rosenthal and Joseph Matthew Smith have secured the cooperation of the Montreal Film Festival for an unusual stunt.
The troika will create an as yet untitled comedy about a fictitious director, named Jake Barrymore, who is scheduled to screen a film called “See This Movie” in Montreal.
The title, “See This Movie,” will actually appear in the Montreal Film Festival program, and is scheduled to screen at some point during the fest.
But there’s a hitch. “See This Movie” doesn’t yet exist. The Weitz/Rosenthal/Smith comedy will chronicle Barrymore’s scramble to produce the film in time for the screening. The two films — the Weitz/Rosenthal/Smith untitled comedy and the film-within-the-film — will be produced simultaneously over a 10-day period.
“It’s a bit of a mind-bender,” said Weitz. “We’ll be using a combination of actors and ‘real people’ who aren’t aware that Jake and his film aren’t real. It’s going to be a new and unique experience for everyone involved.”
Weitz will exec produce, Rosenthal will direct and Smith will produce the comedy. Rosenthal and Smith wrote the script. Manager Anna Barber and attorney Richard Roll are co-producing.
Rosenthal and Smith formerly collaborated on various short films.
It’s not yet clear if the comedy will be produced under the banner of Chris and Paul Weitz’s production banner, Depth of Field.
The Montreal Film Fest runs from Aug. 27-Sep. 7.