You may remember earlier this month, Warner Bros. picked up a spec script called Hangoverfor Todd Phillips to direct. Just two weeks later, Phillips himself has sold the studio another project, an idea he's developing with screenwriter Jeremy Garelick (The Break-Up). This one is more personal; titled Murray at Large, the story is actually based on Phillips' uncle, a man who went from being respected in his community to being falsely accused of a crime. Like many movies seen before, the character goes on the run in order to prove his innocence. According to Variety, the pitch was sold to Warners for seven figures, which goes to show how popular Phillips is at the studio; Hangover had also been purchased for a similarly high price (now reported as more than $2 million).
In addition to Hangover and Murray at Large, which he'll direct in that order, Phillips is attached to Man-Witchand Men, both of them also Warners projects. Then, of course, there are the non-WB movies; most importantly, he's set to helm the sequel Old School Dos, which he began writing with Scot Armstrongover a year ago. If you remember, Phillips, who officially became an Oscar nominee this year (for technically co-writing Borat), worked with Armstrong and got his start with documentaries, including his allegedly compromised break-out Frat House. Following the success of that movie, he worked with Armstrong on four movies:Road Trip, Old School, Starsky & Hutchand School of Scoundrels. The last two were terribly disappointing remakes, the former of a TV show and the latter of an old movie, and aside from the Old School sequel, they seem to have parted ways. If Hangover is his next project, it will be Phillips' first feature not written by the duo. And Murray at Large will be the first to be written by Phillips and not Armstrong. As much as I am a huge fan of the first Old School, I'm pretty anxious to see if Phillips is better off without his old partner.