What's the Worst that Could Happen?: Sam Emerson
EW Staff
April 20, 2001 AT 04:00 AM EDT

What's the Worst That Could Happen?

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
1 minutes
Wide Release Date
06/01/01
performer
Danny DeVito, Martin Lawrence, Nora Dunn, Carmen Ejogo, William Fichtner, Glenne Headly, John Leguizamo, Bernie Mac, Larry Miller, Richard Schiff
director
Sam Weisman
Producer
Martin Lawrence
Producers
Hyde Park Entertainment, MGM, Turman/Morrissey Company
distributor
MGM
author
Matthew Chapman, Barry Fanaro
genre
Comedy

We gave it a D-

It’s one of the oldest saws in Hollywood: making movies is trickier than David Copperfield. Just ask Weisman. First, he set up this adaptation of Donald Westlake’s 1996 novel at United Artists, with James Gandolfini and Heath Ledger. Then the company dissolved (it’s since been reincarnated as an indie division). Next, MGM executive Jeff Kleeman picked up the script and called Weisman. ”I didn’t know who he was and didn’t return the call,” the director says. Finally, his agent hooked him up with the exec, but when Weisman arrived in L.A. from Boston to meet him, Kleeman announced that he had fallen in love and was quitting to move to England.

So what finally kick started this comedy, about a couple of crooks (Lawrence and Leguizamo) whose attempted robbery of a rich mark (DeVito) goes horribly wrong? ”Thank God for Danny DeVito,” says Weisman of the actor producer director whose clout got the deal done. With the cast in place, the director gave his stars free rein. ”The set was great — I got to improvise crazy nonsense,” Leguizamo says. ”And Sam’s got the most infectious laugh. AHHH HA HA HA HA! Kinda high, like a girl.”

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