We talked to many people involved in next summer's action comedy Hancock. Writer/director Peter Berg only had time to spill the logline about a drunk superhero who causes too much havoc with all his collateral damage. So he hires a publicist (Jason Bateman) to help him clean up his image. Charlize Theron plays the publicist's wife. It must be a pretty intellectual comedy to land her.
Berg, Bateman and Theron Talk Hancock
"It could so easily sound like a little summer blockbuster but it's actually got a lot of weight to it," said Theron. "That's why I wanted to do it. It happens to be a big budget film and big star like Will Smith, but it actually has a lot of weight to it. It's been a great experience. It's been a really, really great film to work on. I would make a film about tape recorders if Will Smith was in it because I love working with him. I just think he's an incredible actor. I love the experience of being around him.
Bateman revealed a bit more of the intricate plot. "I am a guy that Will Smith saves in the first, kind of like, ten pages of the film," Said Bateman. "Then to pay him back, I tell him I'm gonna help him revamp his public image. Because he's persona non grata, because he's a drunk and when he solves crime he creates a lot of collateral damage because he's banging into buildings and landing on cars instead of a sidewalk. And so they don't like him. Then he starts making moves on my wife, which is Charlize Theron so there's this weird dark love triangle. It's very Pete Berg."
There's an example of some of the weightier themes about which Theron spoke. "What I love about this piece is it really crosses over so many different genres," she said. "It's really interesting to shoot out of continuity and to figure out where you're hitting what because it's not just silly comedy. I love Jason Bateman and I thought it was a really well written piece that wasn't just fluff. There was a real intelligence to it yet it was fun but it was smart, complicated, had a lot of conflict. I don't see a lot of that come fourth of July. I liked it."
Her costar was just impressed by the magnitude of production. "It's this gigantic Sony movie that I'm just so sort of fortunate to have this great seat to watch," said Bateman. "It's this flotilla of trucks and effects, and I'm a lucky boy."
Theron was not at all discouraged from Aeon Flux to jump into another superhero film. "No, it's all different. Genre based, I don't believe in that. It's two completely different stories. It's completely, completely different. They're all different in different ways. They're all challenging in different ways. I find John Hancock a challenge because it's not something that I'm familiar with. It's not a comfort zone for me. You throw me in a drama and I know I can swim."