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August 23, 2007 |

By Daniel Carlson | Industry | August 23, 2007 |

In the brouhaha over Superbad, happening both elsewhere on the interwebs and here on the illustrious pages of Pajiba, people have been focusing largely on the film’s stars and the fact that it was produced by geek messiah Judd Apatow. But the man at the helm of the film is actually Greg Mottola, who’s probably struggling to balance the happiness that comes with directing a hit comedy with the fact that he did it almost anonymously from Apatow’s shadow. Mottola, whose credits also include a few episodes of the unimpeachably glorious “Arrested Development,” announced this week that his next project will be Adventureland, perhaps in hopes that sticking with one-word titles will bring him some kind of lucky streak. Mottola will also write the film, which is set to star Jesse Eisenberg (The Squid and the Whale) as a college grad in 1987 who winds up working a minimum-wage gig at an amusement park when he realizes he’s too broke to backpack across Europe. Mottola seems like a solid choice to mine an ’80s vibe for an updated story that sounds like a Gen Y version of The Graduate, and of course Eisenberg should be as fantastic as he was in Noah Baumbach’s film. So I’m hopeful.

But then I see things like this and I lose that hope, or I don’t so much lose it as have it slowly pounded out of me. Fred Durst — remember Fred Durst? The backward red cap, the Gortex, the anger, the insinuations of fellatio from teen pop stars. The nookie. That Fred Durst. Well, Fred Durst, who has apparently become quite the producing impresario in his absence from the charts — for which I think we all thank him — is in negotiations to direct Comeback, which is being billed as an “inspirational sports drama” and will star Ice Cube. The terrifying ramifications of that are myriad, so I’ll skip to the plot: It’s about an 11-year-old girl who becomes the first female quarterback in the history of Pop Warner football, and she rallies the team, and she inspires her whole town, and she probably helps to uplift Coach Cube, and blah blah blah. I can’t even make myself go on. Just insert whatever Limp Bizkit joke you want right here. I’ll be down in the next paragraph with the trailer.

OK, I’m back. And what do you know, it turns out I lied earlier when I said I’d be back with good news, because this morning’s trailer watch brings the deeply flawed preview for War, Inc., which looks to be a painfully broad satire on the level of American Dreamz. Those of you still willing to brave the clip are advised that doing so will only make you sad, and confused, and more than a little regretful that John Cusack has pissed away a promising comedic career with an increasing number of bad roles in unfortunate movies. Feel free to discuss his cinematic missteps in the comment thread, or if you’re really bored, just talk about whatever. I’m sure something will come up:

Daniel Carlson is the managing editor of Pajiba and a low-level employee at a Hollywood industry magazine. You can visit his blog, Slowly Going Bald.

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