I’m a little concerned for David Gordon Green. A couple of years ago, when John Williams reviewed the brilliant Snow Angels, John suggested that — while he isn’t quite there yet — David Gordon Green had the makings to be one of the best directors of this generation. And at the time, you couldn’t argue with his track record. In addition to Snow Angels, he’d directed All the Real Girls, Undertow and George Washington, dark, delicate, wonderful little indie dramas. They also made no money.
Last year, however, he got sucked into directing Pineapple Express, a mediocre movie at best (unless you’re stoned) that had some moments of brilliance, specifically Danny McBride, in a scene-stealing role (and if there’s anyone we should be afraid of turning into the next Jack Black, it’s McBride, who has done a variation of that role in both Tropic Thunder and “Eastbound and Down.” It’s still funny, but I don’t know how long it will last). Anyway, after Pineapple Express, I’d kind of hoped that David Gordon Green would take that box-office success and use it to do another dark, drama with a bigger production and marketing budget, so the rest of the world would finally get to see how talented he is.
Instead, he decided to direct three episodes of “Eastbound and Down,” and now he’s sticking with the Danny McBride/Jody Hill gang (he went to college with McBride, so there’s money and loyalty involved). His next feature is Your Highness, which sounds like another stoner comedy, this one with a medieval twist. The movie will star James Franco and Danny McBride as two arrogant, lazy princes (arrogant, lazy? So, par for the course for McBride characters). An evil wizard cast a spell on their father and they are forced to go on some sort of quest to save the kingdom. I hope there are dragons involved — in fact, I hope that the dragons set fire to a marijuana field.
Danny McBride and Ben Best wrote the screenplay. Production begins in Ireland this July.