SXSW 2019: Cast, crew talk Stuber

Dave Bautista as Vic and Kumail Nanjiani as Stu in “Stuber.” Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox.

Dave Bautista, Kumail Nanjiani, Tripper Clancy, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein spoke with Solzy at the Movies Prior to a special screening of Stuber during SXSW.

The print that screened during SXSW was a work-in-progress print.  It will be screened for review closer to release in July.  I found myself sitting next to editor Jonathan Schwartz during the screening.  He’s the same editor who worked on The Spy Who Dumped Me for writer-director Susanna Fogel.  What I can say for sure is that both Dave Bautista and Kumail Nanjiani have great on-screen chemistry in this throwback to the great 80s action comedies.  I’m interested in seeing what changes are made between now and July.

What was it that attracted you to the script for Stuber?

Dave Bautista:  It’s funny (laughs). That’s a very simple basic answer.  I read it and I laughed.  I don’t usually laugh out loud when I’m reading scripts and I laughed out loud because it’s funny.  I could picture myself playing this character and playing opposite Kumail.  I just laughed out loud.  When you connect with something like that, you just jump on that.

Do you have a favorite action comedy?

Dave Bautista:  I’m sure it’s a few but I think the one that popped in my head and one that we talked about a lot through out this film is Lethal Weapon.  What about you?  Do you have a favorite one?

Game Night.

Dave Bautista:  Game Night’s pretty great.  That’s so recent though.

In all fairness, I was working on the fly and that was the first film to pop into my head! With Kumail Nanjiani, I was limited to one question and decided to go in a different direction.  It’s a question that I tend to ask a lot of comedians in interviews–more so of those who come from a background in improvisation rather than stand-up.

Who is the most meaningful instructor that you had in Chicago during your comedy days?

Kumail Nanjiani:  Meaningful instructor?  Wow!  I think that the other comedians were—I would say the first guy who was really nice to me was this comedian named Kyle Kinane, who was always writing, always trying new stuff, always testing himself, and pushing it.  I would say that he was the guy who I first saw and was like, Oh, you have to keep working at it.  I would say that’s the ethic I learned from Kyle Kinane.

In addition to both of the talent on hand for the screening, I spoke with screenwriter Tripper Clancy.

Can you talk about the writing process for Stuber?

Tripper Clancy:  The outline of the script came to me in about 48 hours.  I wrote the first draft in probably 3 weeks.  It’s just one of those things that since my childhood, I’ve been obsessed with action comedies.  I’ve never written an action comedy.  I’ve written comedies and dramas.  I had never put them together so once it sparked, I was able to sit down and write the whole thing very quickly.  Of course, I sold it to Fox and did a bunch of drafts with the actors and director and it changed but the process was one of the smoothest that I ever had as a writer.

What are some of your favorite action comedies?

Tripper Clancy:  Of all time?  48 Hours, Midnight Run, Beverly Hills Cop.  I’m a giant Coen Brothers fan and even though people won’t classify them as action comedies, I do think a lot of their movies—I would call Raising Arizona an action comedy even though it’s not classified that way.  To me, it is.

We’re seeing a work-in-progress print at SXSW.  How much work is left?

Tripper Clancy:  Hopefully not much.  I think it’s pretty close to being done.  I think there might be a couple more tweaks but everything is pretty much there.  We have four more months before it releases so tonight is a test to see how everything plays and maybe make a few final tweaks.  Luckily that’s up to Michael Dowse the director to figure out.

Finally, we have a pair of producers, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein.  Some of Daley’s comments relate to his upcoming appearance during C2E2 2019 in Chicago so those are being saved for a preview.

Congrats on Stuber after a very hysterical Game Night.

John Francis Daley:  Thank you very much.

What attracted you to produce this film?

John Francis Daley:  Sort of like Game Night, I think it delves into multiple genres: action and comedy.  When we knew that we had this group of people joining us for it, we knew we could really kind of elevate the genre and make something that was fresh and also kind of familiar in a fun and nostalgic way.

Jonathan Goldstein:  He said it.

Next week, you’ll be Chicago for C2E2 with Martin Starr.

John Francis Daley:  I will indeed.

What should fans expect during the Freaks and Geeks panel?

John Francis Daley:  Martin to say something inappropriate and me to laugh it off.

Jonathan Goldstein:  I won’t be there.

When did you get the directing itch?

John Francis Daley:  Since I was a little kid but nobody wanted to hire a 6-year-old director so I had to wait a while.  It was something I always wanted to do and this guy always wanted to do and then he became a lawyer for a little while for some reason.

Jonathan Goldstein:  It’s important to get a law degree before you direct a movie.  It’s a good career track.

John Francis Daley:  Ultimately, we found each other in a romantic comedy way and have been directing together ever since.

Twentieth Century Fox will open Stuber in theaters on July 12, 2019.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.