Joe Tombari, Mike Konesky, and Patrick Schultheis all live in different parts of the USA and have very different occupations, but they have one thing in common: every year, in the month of February, they live in constant fear of becoming "It."
The group of high school friends were interviewed for a Wall Street Journal feature in January, and their story has since drawn national attention. Every year, ten graduates of Gonzaga Preparatory School's Class of '82 reunite for a game of 'Tag' that has currently been ongoing for 23 years, often flying across the country and going to insane measures to surprise and tag each other.
If your immediate reaction to this story is to think that it would make a great movie, you're not alone. Producer Todd Garner acquired the rights to the 'Tag Brothers' story in February and after a major bidding war, the project has been picked up by New Line Cinema. According to The Wrap, comedy stars Will Ferrell and Jack Black are already attached to play lead roles in the film. Tag Brothers will mark their first on-screen collaboration since Ferrell famously threw a burrito into Black's face in Anchorman, and it's possible that Black will be one of the many stars rumored to have a cameo in the forthcoming sequel, Anchorman: The Legend Continues.
Mark Steilen, who directed road trip comedy Wieners in 2008, has been chosen by Garner to write the script. It's unclear how closely the film will adhere to real life events, though there's plenty of material to choose from. During one of the annual games of 'Tag', Sean Rastis, who is now a priest living in Montana, flew nearly 1000 miles and hid in the trunk of a Honda Accord belonging to one of Joe Tombari's friends. When Tombari and his wife came to check out the new vehicle, Rastis leapt out of the trunk and tagged his old school friend, scaring Mrs. Tombari so badly that she tripped over the curb and tore a ligament in her knee.
During another February, Mike Konesky flew halfway across the country and hid in the bushes outside his friend Chris Ammann's apartment for two days, waiting for the opportunity to strike and not knowing that his friend had gone out of town for the weekend. Konesky had a little more success another year, when he broke into Brian Dennehy's house (no, not that Brian Dennehy) through the garage and burst into his bedroom, tagging him mercilessly even as Dennehy's wife yelled at him to run.
There's plenty of potential here for a hilarious and even heart-warming film, and the Farrelly brothers immediately spring to mind as directors who would be well-equipped to handle this story, even if they are occupied with preparation for Dumb and Dumber To at the moment. Screenwriter Mark Steilen worked as a second unit director on the Farrelly's 2003 comedy Stuck on You, so perhaps there's hope for their involvement yet.
While the film already has big names attached, the choice of screenwriter doesn't inspire much confidence, and true-life comedies don't always work out well. One such example is Peyton Reed's 2008 film Yes Man, based on Danny Wallace's autobiographical book of the same name, which tried to strike the right balance between humor and drama, and ended up being neither particularly funny nor particularly touching. In Tag Brothers' favor however, is the fact that Jack Black's last feature role was also in a true-life story: Richard Linklater's black comedy Bernie, in which Black played convicted murderer Bernie Tiede.
Are you looking forward to seeing these two comedy giants reunite for Tag Brothers? Share your thoughts in New Line Cinema's new project in the comments.
We'll keep you updated on Tag Brothers when more information becomes available.
Source: The Wrap