Jason Bateman picks on a lot of people in Bad Words, but few are his size. In the dark comedy, which is also his directorial debut, the Horrible Bosses star plays a grown man who finds a loophole to compete in (and ruin) a national spelling contest. “It’s certainly not just another spelling-bee movie,” Bateman says. “God knows we don’t need another one of those. It’s basically a venue for him to exact revenge.” His character’s exploits put him in conflict with a host of precocious youngsters, particularly Rohan Chand (best known as doomed Issa on Showtime’s Homeland). On screen, Bateman terrorizes the 10-year-old — but as a director, he promises, “I was of course very gentle with him.”
More Directorial Debuts
God’s Pocket (TBA)
Mad Men‘s John Slattery went behind the lens for a gritty, Philly-set drama about the cover-up of a construction-site killing.
Jon Stewart directed the true tale of a journalist (Gael García Bernal) detained in Iran on spying charges, in part due to a Daily Show spot.
In William H. Macy’s first feature, a grieving dad (Billy Crudup) finds his late son’s demo tapes and forms a band to perform the songs.