In the wake of their smash 2005 comedy Wedding Crashers, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson were offered a number of projects together, but nothing was exciting enough to get them to the altar a second time. ”With a lot of movies I’ve done, I never felt an instinct to say, ‘Well, that did well — let’s go do a second one,”’ says Vaughn. ”It was more important to me to have a story that stands on its own. Otherwise, just come up with a new movie.” So that’s what Vaughn did, concocting the original idea for a comedy that reunites him with Wilson as a pair of out-of-work watch salesmen who try to reboot their careers by taking a brutally competitive internship at Google. ”If someone feels down-and-out and they try and push forward — I think that’s really rootable,” Vaughn says.
The film explores the workplace challenges facing both the fortysomething protagonists and the millennials who dominate the tech giant’s intern pool (including The Social Network‘s Max Minghella and Teen Wolf‘s Dylan O’Brien). ”I wanted there to be something aspirational at the intersection of those two generations, both of whom feel slightly disenfranchised,” says director Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum).
The film’s biggest casting coup: persuading Google to come on board. ”From the beginning, I said, ‘If we don’t get Google and suddenly we’re talking about a fictionalized tech company, I’m probably not going to want to direct this movie,”’ says Levy. ”Going into the belly of the beast was one of the cool aspects of the project — and that would have been compromised by going to something like ‘Shmoogle.”’