Despite their recent verbal commitment to the project, there’s still not much concrete news on Broken Lizard’s Super Troopers 2. And with that lack of movement, we’re looking at a wide open horizon for the boys where any number of projects they’ve talked about in the past could fill the void. Now they have to make room for yet another, and they’re making it with some rather unlikely partners.
Participant Productions was started as a production specifically for socially-conscious filmmaking, and their slate thus far (e.g. Good Night, and Good Luck, An Inconvenient Truth, Syriana, North Country) has been true to that ideal. But what’s muckraking without some gut laughs to break up the tension? Hence, they’ve paired with Broken Lizard (they both have deals with Warner Brothers) to present Taildraggers, a comedy containing elements that fans of the BL movies will recognize instantly. This is the story of five goofy slackers who work for a small-time Alaskan airline. They square off with a bigger competing airline when they discover that they are working with baddies with nefarious designs on the oil in the region. Replace “airline” with “police department” and “oil” with “drugs”. What do you got? Super Troopers. You could massage that into Beerfest with little additional effort, too. And even more interesting is the fact that the BL guys didn’t write the script, either. It’s courtesy of a TV writer named Will Gluck.
Still, it’s quite likely that Broken Lizard will take a hands-on approach from here on out by having Jay Chandrasekhar direct along with any and/or all of the other guys acting in it. I’m always happy when they get a project going, but I kinda hoped they’d be able to try branching out a bit once they re-established their profitability (and likeability) with Beerfest. Whatever problems Club Dread had, I was excited to see them take a chance, and despite the tsunami of public disdain that greeted it, I enjoy the film to this day. Maybe it’ll take one or two more slam dunks, including Super Troopers deux, for them to get permission to leave the formula reservation. Who knows? I’m willing to wait as long as they keep bringing along unofficial sixth man M.C. Gainey.