The trailer for The Comeback Trail starring Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Tommy Lee Jone, Emile Hirsch, and Zack Braff is here. Over the past few years, film legend De Niro has puzzled fans of his Raging Bull days by taking on one perplexingly mediocre comedy role after another. With the trailer release of The Comeback Trail, the actor seems to have finally lent his talents to a comedy that looks more ambitious than being a middling cash grab.
The trailer starts with Robert De Niro as struggling Hollywood producer Max Barber swearing to return the money he owes to Morgan Freeman’s mob boss Reggie Fontaine. Zach Braff is introduced as Barber’s hapless helper Dr. Walter Creason. A freak accident of a famous actor on set gives Barber a brilliant idea: Set up a dummy film production, insure the lead actor for a huge amount, kill the actor in a freak ‘accident’, and collect the insurance amount.
Despite Creason’s misgivings, Barber goes ahead with his murderous plan, hiring a film crew, a fledgling director, and casting jaded actor Duke Montana (Tommy Lee Jones) as the main lead/designated murder victim. Jones is doing what he does best, imbuing a purposely ridiculous character with his trademark style of curmudgeonly gruffness that adds depth to a caricature.
Unfortunately for Barber, Montana appears to be a tough old bird and repeatedly survives Barber’s increasingly desperate attempts to kill him on the film set. Meanwhile, Fontaine is growing impatient and appears ready to take matters into his own hands with regard to the killing, even as Barber comes to realize the creative process of making the film with a loyal cast and crew means more to him than he had realized.
Aside from letting audiences know the bare bones of the plot, the trailer also provides glimpses of the wacky hijinks the movie indulges in. In his sneaky crusade to end his lead actor’s life, Barber purposely sets Montana on fire, saws through the drawbridge the actor is supposed to travel through, and then the actual mobsters show up to finish the job.
Viewers have noted the similarity between The Comeback Trail, and the Mel Brooks’ classic The Producers. However, the upcoming movie is actually a remake of the 1982 film of the same name by Harry Hurwitz. Another point of inspiration might have been Quentin Tarantino’s recent hit Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which took a similarly quirky-violent and nostalgic look at the film industry in the 70s’.
Based on the original movie by Harry Hurwitz, The Comeback Trail features a screenplay by George Gallo & Josh Posner, with George Gallo attached as director. The movie has been produced by Philip Kim, Patrick Hibler p.g.a., Joy Sirott Hurwitz, Julie Lott Gallo, Richard Salvatore p.g.a., and David E. Ornston, with Elisabeth Costa de Beauregard and Patrick Muldoon acting as executive producers. Cloudburst Entertainment is set to release the movie In theaters November 13, 2020.