How ‘Why Him?’ came to be the riotous comedy that it is

We already alerted you about this upcoming James Franco movie way back in November but we just can’t get enough of the hilarious trailer so we’re giving you more insider info on how this movie came to be.

BUT before anything else, here’s a recap:

From the makers of blockbuster family comedies such as Meet the Parents and Night at the Museum comes a hilarious endearing family movie starring Oscar nominees James Franco and Bryan Cranston, Zoey Deutch, and Megan Mullally, entitled Why Him? As an early tease, it’s a must to let you know that this comedy film also features the voice of Big Bang Theory’s Kaley Cuoco as the virtual concierge named Justine.

We dare you to have a family Christmas card tattooed on your back. Tee-hee!

We dare you to have a family Christmas card tattooed on your back. Tee-hee!

Franco stars as Laird Mayhew, a heavily tattooed and socially awkward tech billionaire in an unconventional family movie that puts a hilarious fresh spin on the anxiety-inducing tradition of introducing one’s significant other to the family.  Ned (Cranston) thinks Laird, who has absolutely no filter, is a wildly inappropriate match for his daughter Stephanie (Deutch). Ned’s panic level escalates when the straight-laced Midwesterner, who finds himself increasingly out of step in Laird’s glamorous high-tech world, learns that Laird is about to pop the question.

We told you he's tattoed. LOL!


(READ: How crazy is it to have in-laws? Let ‘Why Him?’ show you in under 3 minutes) 

Here’s the tea:

Directed by John Hamburg, Why Him? was an idea hatched in a basement in Atlanta when producers Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, Ben Stiller, and Jonah Hill were in production on the 2012 alien invasion comedy The Watch (We believe you millennials know how awfully good it was in a bad way. Get it?).

James Franco (left) and Keegan Michael Key (right) in 'Why Him?', showing in cinemas this February 1, 2017.

James Franco (left) and Keegan Michael Key (right) in ‘Why Him?’, showing in cinemas this February 1, 2017.


“We were all standing there in the dark on this wet, claustrophobic stage saying how great it would be to do a movie in Hawaii,” recalls Levy.

“Shawn and Ben and Jonah came up with this idea called Aloha… We loved the idea and gave it to John Hamburg, who did an amazing rewrite and reconceived the whole idea. He really made it his own.  The only downside was that he changed the location, so we’re not shooting in Hawaii,” Levine says. “But everything else was perfect.”

With an established reputation in the comedy realm as a result of his extensive work with frequent collaborator Seth Rogen, Franco, who earned a best actor Oscar nomination for his turn as hiker Aron Ralston in 2010’s 127 Hours, was interested in exploring the genre further with a different dynamic under Hamburg’s direction.

“When I got into comedy, I was introduced to the importance of grounded characters who provide a real emotional through-line and not just a series of jokes,” Franco says. “John really subscribes to that idea and creates the kind of comedies that I gravitate toward because it doesn’t feel like fluff. You’re actually having something of an experience while you’re laughing.”

They make a good pair, TBH. Zoey Deutch (left) and James Franco (right).

They make a good pair, TBH. Zoey Deutch (left) and James Franco (right).

More tea: Franco and Hamburg’s relationship actually began as professor and student when the actor was attending the graduate filmmaking program at NYU.

“Unfortunately, he was my teacher the semester that I was doing 127 Hours, so I wasn’t there a lot,” Franco says. “But we talked a lot and I got to know him on the phone.”

To help develop the character of Laird, Franco Skyped with videogame designer Cliff Bleszinski (known as CliffyB) for some real-world inspiration.

“He’s sort of like a snowboarder pimp,” Franco says. “That’s sort of like his style. He talked really fast, he throws in a lot of cuss words but is also saying some pretty intelligent things, you know? I thought, oh, there’s something of Laird in there that I can use.”

Can’t get enough of our tea? Then don’t forget to watch Why Him? in cinemas on February 1, 2017.  This 20th Century Fox movie is distributed by Warner Bros.

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