RyanAfter months of vague hints, I can finally reveal information about The Movie I wrote and directed this summer.

  • It’s called The Nines.1
  • It stars Ryan Reynolds, Hope Davis and Melissa McCarthy.
  • It’s a drama. Funny in places, suspenseful in places, but basically a drama.
  • It will be premiering at the Sundance Film Festival.

This last point was the primary reason for secrecy on the first three. I made the film with the goal of debuting at Sundance, where my first film (Go) launched in 1999, and didn’t want to shine too big a spotlight on it until we knew whether the festival would pick it up.

We found out last week that we got in, but the Filmmaker Agreement we signed required us to keep a lid on the public “woo-hoos” until the official announcement came out. Which it did, today. So, woo-hoo!

The film was produced by Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen (American Beauty, Big Fish), along with Dan Etheridge (Veronica Mars and many indies). It was independently financed,2 with the hope of finding the right distributor.

Feel free to ask about the budget. I will whistle and look in the other direction.

In an earlier post, I bemoaned the difficulty of trying to arrange a test audience screening, given the danger that any internet leak could be deadly. I can now tell you that there were two screenings, which were invaluable. The first one helped us figure out what movie we’d actually made. The second one told us which scenes we actually needed.3

What is the movie about? Well, if you got a Sundance catalog, the description would read something like this:

A troubled actor, a television showrunner, and an acclaimed videogame designer find their lives intertwining in mysterious and unsettling ways.

Which is entirely true. There’s also a lot more going on, but there’s no sense in spoiling it now. The movie isn’t The Sixth Sense; it doesn’t hinge on one giant twist. But it rewards paying very careful attention.

So, hey, if you’d like to see it, come to Sundance! In addition to the premiere, there will be at least two more screenings that week. The movie is playing out of competition (that is, it’s not eligible for awards), so I’m honestly not trying to stuff the ballot box. But a friendly audience is always welcome.

For the majority of readers who won’t be able to make it to Park City, I’ll try to keep up with the blogging to give a virtual Sundance experience.

  1. What? There’s a show on ABC called “The Nine”? Oh wait, it was [cancelled](http://www.zap2it.com/tv/news/zap-abcpullsthenine,0,7597771.story). Or put on indefinite hiatus. The truth is, we had just finished clearing the title “The Nines” through the MPAA when ABC decided to retitle their pilot “Nine Lives” as “The Nine.” Guess how happy that made us. We made back-up plans, but I had a hunch that nobody would give a damn about what happened during a bank robbery. For once, America did not disappoint me.
  2. A polite euphemism for “rich people paid for it.”
  3. There was in fact one blogger at the first test screening, but he so rarely posts that even Tyra Banks feels a little neglected.