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Exclusive: Jason Bateman Lands the Lead in Rawson Marshall Thurber's Stoner Comedy, We're the Millers

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | July 26, 2011 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | July 26, 2011 |

Two months ago, Rawson Marshall Thurber (Dodgeball) came aboard a project based on a script that had been in development since 2002. We’re the Millers is about a slacker low level drug-dealer who decides to do one more job, which forces him to travel to Mexico and create a make-believe family in order to bring 1,400 pounds of marijuana into the U.S. He does so by renting an RV and assembling the fake family from a neighbor stoner neighbor kid who is borderline retarded and a sassmouth prostitute. It’s kind of like National Lampooon’s Vacation by way of The Hangover by way of the darker sensibility of Horrible Bosses. It’s got a lot of potential.

The script is also hilarious, which is why it’s been such a hot project for years. It’s gone through a few iterations; most recently, it had John Morris and Sean Anders (Hot Tub Time Machine) attached, and Will Arnett and Steve Buscemi have been attached at some point during its development. It never quite got past the development stage.

It should now, as we are reporting exclusively that Jason Bateman — fresh off the success of Horrible Bosses and the soon-to-be star of The Change-Up — has been cast as the lead. Bateman is perfect for the role: the character has a dry sense of humor, and, in a very funny way, the character is mean. It also puts Thurber and Bateman back together for the first time since the $100 million sleeper hit, Dodgeball, which they hope to duplicate with We’re the Millers.

News of the addition of Bateman to We’re the Millers comes the day after Deadline announced that Thurber is rewriting The Umbrella Academy, based on the Eisner Award-winning Dark Horse comic written by My Chemical Romance singer Gerard Way. According to Deadline, “The comic revolves around an adopted dysfunctional family of superheroes with bizarre powers who are brought together by a mentor. As children, they defeat the Eiffel Tower when it’s turned into a laser-spewing structure by a zombie robot. In later installments of the comic, the kids disband but reunite as adults after their mentor is killed.”

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.