By Jenna Milly
Would you like to make a movie about a group of body builders who become extortionists and killers…? It’s not the kind of question a studio exec would likely say yes to… unless it’s based on a true story.
Pain & Gain, the new black comedy-slash-crime movie, is about just this topic. Based on a series of articles from a Miami reporter about a group of body builders who commit heinous crimes comes this dark comedy about how something so outrageous could happen. Mark Wahlberg plays Daniel Lugo, a real meathead with one thought in his brain — he wants to have the good life and nothing is going to stop him. With the help of his two beefy buddies, played by Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie, the threesome sets out to con a millionaire out of all his money.
Screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who are best known for their work on the Chronicles of Narnia series and Captain America, wrote Pain & Gain about 12 years ago before they had any big credits under their belts.
“When you have a true story, you can do so many more things,” said Markus. Even though every one in town turned the script down, director Michael Bay (Transformers, Armageddon, Bad Boys) found something special in this offbeat comedy with thrills, gore and a Miami spin that was undeniably unique.
Pain & Gain releases in theaters April 26. The film co-stars Ed Harris (Apollo 13, Pollock, A Beautiful Mind) Rob Corddry (What Happens in Vegas, Hot Tub Time Machine) and Tony Shalhoub (Monk).
ScreenwritingU sat down with this dynamic writing duo to find out just how the put so much comedy into such a bizarre true life crime story.
Photo credit: Paramount Pictures