Foer and Stiller’s D.C.-Set Comedy Probably Won’t Be Filming in D.C.
Looks like D.C.'s real-life Royal Tenenbaums are getting a dose of, well, Chas Tenenbaum: The Hollywood Reporter writes today that HBO has tapped Ben Stiller to star, direct, and executive produce a comedy pilot penned by novelist Jonathan Safran Foer. The show is titled All Talk:
The project, which is being billed as “politically, religiously, culturally, intellectually and sexually irreverent,” revolves around the daily and life-altering dramas of a Jewish family in Washington, D.C. Emmy winner Alan Alda is currently in negotiations to join Stiller in front of the camera, marking what would be his first series regular role since M*A*S*H. The pilot is tentatively scheduled to shoot this fall.
You'll remember that Stiller starred in Wes Anderson's 2001 film The Royal Tenenbaums, about an affluent clan of maladjusted overachievers in New York City. Jonathan Safran Foer is esteemed for his novels Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and grew up part of an affluent clan of apparently well-adjusted overachievers in Washington, D.C., along with his brothers Franklin Foer, the former editor of The New Republic, and Joshua Foer, the author of the 2011 book Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything. Hopefully the show isn't too autobiographical; the rules of comedy might demand some Andersonian later-life disappointment.
Bad news, though: All Talk won't do its principal shooting in Forest Hills, where the Foer Bros. grew up, nor anywhere else in D.C. "[HBO] had expressed some interest in filming," says Lesie Green, the spokesperson of D.C.'s Office of Motion Picture and Television Development. "The bottom line was they were looking for an incentive and we just couldn’t give them what they wanted."
Another upcoming HBO show set here, Veep, was in and out of the District late last year for exterior shots. Green says the Film Office is hoping that All Talk will do something similar: “We’re hoping to get a few days.”