After jumping from the micro-budget to the established independent world with Cyrus, brothers Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass are about to make their next big leap. Deadline reports the duo have signed with the major studio Warner Bros. to write an adaption of Tony D’Souza‘s novel Mule.
Todd Phillips (The Hangover, Due Date) is helping the brothers develop the film with his Green Hat Films company, as it was last reported earlier this year, and he has intentions to direct the film. It follows “a young couple’s unexpected entry into the world of “muling” marijuana cross-country to scratch out a living during the recession.”
With Mark Duplass’ actor career exploding in The League, as well as films like People Like Us, Safety Not Guaranteed and Your Sister’s Sister, he’s still finding time to write and direct. They’ve just released the stoner comedy Jeff, Who Lives At Home, something to certainly prepare them for this project, and their next, The Do-Deca Pentathlon will hit theaters this year following its SXSW premiere (our review here). This is a natural next step for the brothers and I’d like to think Phillips is a good match for their sensibilities.
James and Kate are golden children of the late twentieth-century, flush with opportunity. But then economic downturn and an unexpected pregnancy send them searching for a way to make do.
A winter in the mountains of California’s Siskiyou County introduces a tempting opportunity. A friend grows prime-grade marijuana; if James transports just one load from Cali to Florida, he’ll pull down enough cash to survive for months.
James navigates life as a mule, then a boss — from money-hungry friends to gun-toting drug lords, from Sacramento to Tallahassee, from just making the weight move cross-country to making thousands of dollars a day. The risks keep rising, forcing him to the next criminal level. A kidnapping, a shoot-out, a bank vault — it all culminates in a swirl of action.
Absorbing and timely, Mule perfectly captures the anxieties of plunging into the criminal world and of being a young person in a moment when the American Dream you never had to believe in suddenly vanishes from the menu.
What do you think about this collaboration?
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