‘Father Figures’ Premiere Raises Funds for Southern California Wildfire Victims

The real world intruded a bit on the world premiere of “Father Figures” at the TCL Chinese in Hollywood on Wednesday. On the red carpet, producer Ivan Reitman made a pitch for funds to help victims of the Thomas Fire. Earlier in the week, he and his family were forced to evacuate their Montecito home.

“I’m very thankful to the firefighters [so] that we escaped fire damage,” he said before the film, starring Ed Helms and Owen Wilson, screened.

For “Father Figures” screenwriter Justin Malen, the premiere culminated close to a decade of work. He recalls that part of the original story was inspired by his grandmother taking him to see “Basic Instinct” in 1992.

“She would only see R-rated movies because any other movie would eventually wind up free on television,” Malen said. “A lot of the idea for this movie was me looking at old photos of my parents and realizing that things were not as sanitized as they say.”

Wilson noted that he had never worked with Helms before. “I had never even met him, but I’m a fan and we got along great — which is important because we’re in most of the scenes together, so we had to spend a lot of time together,” he said. “We never ran out of things to talk about.”

Sports analyst and Hall of Fame NFL quarterback Terry Bradshaw plays himself as a potential dad to twin brothers, portrayed by Helms and Wilson, who are searching for their father.

“I told the director, Lawrence Sher, when he called me that I don’t do movies,” he mused. “I was in Hawaii on vacation with my grandkids. I had last done a movie 11 years ago with ‘Failure to Launch.’ So he said, ‘Can I just come over to meet with you and explain it to you?'”

So he met Sher, suggested they play golf, then went to dinner with him, and played another round of golf the next day. “And I got the job to play myself,” he added. “It was that simple.”

Warner Bros. opens “Father Figures” on Dec. 22. Producers are Reitman, Alcon Entertainment’s Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson, Ali Bell and Tom Pollock.

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