The road to Hollywood is filled with the remains of failed projects - films that didn't quite make it into production for one reason or another.
The Paul Haggis project a Honeymoon With Harry has been waiting nearly six years but now it appears that the film has been given the kiss of life by Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, and Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme.Cooper and De Niro have just shot finished Dark Fields for director Neil Burger, and apparently they had such a blast working together - they decided to go on a Honeymoon together.
De Niro’s production company Tribeca is now involved in the project, and both Cooper and the Taxi Driver star had a script reading for the film two weeks ago.
According to Deadline:
“Cooper read the role of a formerly self-centered womanizing booze-hound who changed his ways when he met a girl and fell in love. De Niro read the role of the girl’s father, who recognizes himself in the young man, and tries to break them up. They get engaged anyway. When she dies tragically just before their wedding, the groom heads off on their honeymoon to drown his sorrows and drink himself to death. There, he meets his almost father-in-law, who has come to spread his daughter’s ashes on her favorite beach.”
The script was inspired by an unpublished novel by author Bart Baker, and was first established at New Line in 2004 - before the company folded into Warner Brothers. A pre-Crash and Million Dollar Baby Paul Haggis was hired to adapt the book into a script and Vince Vaughn and Jack Nicholson were both attached to star.
One of the main reasons that Honeymoon With Harry wasn’t made was because of the awkward tone. It’s not easily pegged as either a comedy or drama - and due to this difficulty a budget couldn’t be arranged. The tone is allegedly similar to a James L. Brookes film (As Good As It Gets/ Spanglish) - a tone that is hard to get right and even harder to market. I can just imagine what the New Line marketing department said when they were pitched the project!
We know that Cooper (The Hangover) and De Niro (Meet The Parents) can do comedy, and Demme isn’t a slouch in the directing department, so it looks like this might come together.
If it does, then Honeymoon With Harry could be Oscar material - an honor that would definitely make it a bit more marketable.