It was a long ten years between Zach Braff’s directorial debut, 2004’s Garden State, and his sophomore effort, 2014’s Wish I Was Here. And to be honest, it wasn’t really worth the wait. The earnest-but-clumsy follow-up to his excellent first film didn’t match the potential the Scrubs actor laid prior, but that hasn’t stopped him from continuing his passion. Braff’s already got next year’s Going in Style, his third film, in the can, and he’s ready for another go behind-the-camera. He’s signed on to direct Bump, a comedy script found on last year’s Black List, as his fourth feature.
According to Deadline, Bump centers on Thomas and the single most important night of his life. After a mistake sets into motion a series of absurd events threatening to unravel his mundane life, Thomas calls his ambitions, morality and dubious decision into question. Well, that certain does sound like a Braff film, depending on how much quirky whimsy is packed inside those events. If it’s plentiful, then the sitcom actor/indie darling director is a solid pick for the material, and hopefully this new film displays his talents better than his last film ever did.
Written by Ori Guendelman and Rob McClelland, Bump will be the second film Braff hasn’t written himself, unless he does some pre-production rewrites. Additionally, it’s unclear if Braff will also play Thomas, or if he’ll stay strictly behind-the-camera like he did with Going in Style. In either case, Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner will produce under Working Title, with Liza Chasin executive producing and Johanna Byer overseeing the production. Speaking of the production, the plan is currently to start shooting later this year, likely before Braff has to go through promotional rounds for his 2017 release, starring Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin.
We won’t know until April 7, when Going in Style finally rolls into theaters, if Braff has officially redeemed himself as a filmmaker. But in any case, the actor-writer-director is eager for a comeback, and I’m merely hoping for something as good as Garden State. We’ll see if either of those come into fruition sooner-than-later.