J.K. Simmons Rags on Miles Teller in 'Whiplash' Short Turned Feature
by Ethan Anderton
August 6, 2013
The past couple years have turned out to be pretty great for Miles Teller. After playing a bit part with his own name in Project X, this year Teller went on to lead the raunchy teenage comedy 21 and Over and this summer that's followed by a stellar performance in the Sundance hit The Spectacular Now along with Shailene Woodley. Now Deadline has word that Teller is venturing into Sundance territory again with a new project called Whiplash, a feature film adaptation of the Sundance Short Film Jury Award-winning film of the same name. In addition, J.K. Simmons will reprise the intimidating role he played in the short film.
The film definitely sounds original as it is described as Full Metal Jacket at Julliard. Simmons plays an intense and tormenting jazz orchestra instructor who takes out his frustration on a rookie drummer (Teller), trying desperately not to lose his mind as he tries to become the top percussionist in one of the most illustrious jazz orchestras in the country. The film has some solid producers behind it including director Jason Reitman and horror franchise machine Jason Blum (whose Blumhouse Productions is behind Paranormal Activity and Insidious), so hopefully some more great actors will join up as well.
The short film was actually produced in an effort to get funding for feature length version, so this isn't a surprising direction for the film. Damien Chazelle wrote the short after Reitman and Blum essentially dared him to create a short film from his Black List script. And so, 15 pages of the full screenplay turned into a great short, and now the rest of the script will make it to the screen too. With Teller and Simmons on board, this already sounds like a solid indie that will hopefully debut at Sundance. Production begins in September, and we'll definitely keep an eye out for more news.