Jeremy Garelick to Direct Both 'An Ex to Grind' & 'Hassle Man'
Hearing the success stories of those who make a name for themselves in Hollywood has proven one thing: there's not just one or even a few ways to go about "making it" in this industry. While success can very much be about who you know, sometimes it's more what you do. Jeremy Garelick (right, above) started as Joel Schumacher's assistant and worked second unit on Veronica Guerin before co-writing The Break-Up and uncredited re-writes on The Hangover. Now Deadline reports he's got a deal to direct An Ex to Grind (the romantic comedy with Cameron Diaz/Benicio Del Toro) and a new project called Hassle Man. But how?
Garelick explains his simple motivation behind getting Universal's attention regarding his directing talent:
"I was sitting on the set of 'The Hangover,' watching that happen when I thought, why not show Universal I can direct? I'd been involved in six movies from start to finish, worked with Joel on four films and learned from Peyton Reed on The Break-Up, Todd Phillips on 'The Hangover,' and I saw what to do."
Not sure if that's a dig at those directors (though it's probably just showing he learned from their mistakes), but he used his knowledge well. Garelick then got Craig Robinson (Hot Tub Time Machine), Ken Jeong (The Hangover), Paula Patton (Precious) and Jonathan Goldsmith ("The Most Interesting Man in the World" in those Dos Equis commercials) and spent $25,000 to film a six minute scene with them from The Pretender, a script he set up at Universal. The studio was so impressed they hired him for the first time in his career as a director without having any relationship to the material. Talk about making a scene to get what you want!
So now Garelick finds himself attached to direct An Ex to Grind. The film sees Benicio Del Toro as a star athlete who for years supports the dreams of his waitress wife (Cameron Diaz), but his career is cut short by injury, turning him into a beer-swilling couch potato while she becomes a successful businesswoman. This obviously messes with their relationship. The wife then plans to divorce him and is horrified to discover she will have to pay alimony to maintain the slovenly lifestyle that led her to dump him. So what wacky plan does she enact to get out of her payments? She conspires to find him a new wife to get off the hook but when her replacement restores the man she fell for, she ends up wanting her husband back. How typical, right?
In addition, the writer will also end up directing Hassle Man, an original comedy script from Eli Jorne and Reed Agnew which is beautifully described by its own logline: "When you can't hire a hit man, hire a hassle man." That just brings all sorts of hilarious ideas and imagery to my mind, so I can't wait to see how it turns out. No cast is attached yet, and it remains to be seen which of these two new projects he'll direct first, or if he'll end up directing his own script The Pretender as well. One thing's for sure, Garelick is a name we'll be paying more attention to in the future as his career seems to be making leaps and bounds in the industry.
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