Jason Mantzoukas is best known for working on big-screen comedies, like the just-released The House in which he plays a degenerate gambler or 2014’s Ride Along, which he co-wrote. It is less well known that a few years back, he was recruited to be part of the writers’ room for director Michael Bay’s less obviously comedic blockbuster sequel, Transformers: Age of Extinction.
“It was really fun,” Mantzoukas tells EW of working on the 2014 film. “It was wild. I do a fair amount of those types of jobs, where you get called in with a bunch of other funny people to ostensibly work on a movie that’s either about to go into production or has already been shot. They’re just looking oftentimes for more jokes, and so they bring together a bunch of funny people, and those funny people pitch jokes. This was atypical in the sense that Michael Bay was running the room, which was amazing, and so interesting to get his viewpoint on a movie like this.”
“Normally, these are big comedy movies that you’re doing it for, and so you’re really just riffing off of whatever script they have,” he continues. “But he had already animatics of the movie. So, really, we were watching temp, animatic scenes that they had put together, which was really cool. As a job, it was actually really neat. Just on a process level, it was like, ‘Oh, this is how they build these movies,’ which is fundamentally different than how they build a comedy.”
And did any of the jokes pitched by Mantzoukas make the finished film?
“I don’t think so,” he says. “We were writing jokes for the T.J. Miller character. And T.J. himself, I think, improvised a lot of very funny stuff in the movie. I don’t know that any of my jokes actually made it in.”
See the trailer for Transformers: Age of Extinction above and one for The House below.
The House is now in theaters.