Being fans of both Arrested Development and Office Space, we were rather excited when comedy titans Jason Bateman and Mike Judge arrived to plug Extract, Judge’s new indie laugher. Bateman was a mite bleary-eyed, having flown out from the New Mexico set of Paul at 5am after a full night’s shooting — “I’ve had one hour of sleep, so I apologise for anything I might say.” He explained that Kristen Wiig, who plays his character’s wife in the film, was also meant to be here, but, alas, was stuck on the Paul set after her scenes overran.
The gorgeous Mila Kunis was able to attend, though, and the three of them introduced some very funny footage. The movie revolves around an extract-factory manager called Joel (Bateman), whose best friend is druggy bartender Dean (Ben Affleck), and who is having some marital trouble — his wife allows a very slim window of opportunity for sex (when she puts her sweatpants on at 8pm, it’s no-go), and a stunning temp (Kunis) seems set on seducing him. The extended clips we’re shown show Joel meeting the new girl, then accidentally ingesting ketamine (it’s Dean’s fault) and then hiring a gigolo to seduce his wife (again, it’s Dean’s fault). It looks very funny indeed, especially Dustin Milligan’s performance as the astronomically stupid man-whore, a character who appears to have come back in a time machine from the future-society of Idiocracy.
Judge reveals that Affleck based his character on a high-school friend of his and hails this as his return to proper character acting. Kunis, on being asked what it was like working with Wiig, pointed out that they never actually got to share a scene together and had a mock-tantrum at Judge for it. And Bateman was charmingly self-deprecating. Asked what his worst ever job was, he deadpanned, “Oh, there are so many. Everyone’s got access to IMDb, right? Well, take your pick. Throw a dart and see what comes up!” (Judge’s answer to that same question, by the way, was a two-way tie between a stint at hamburger chain Jack In The Box and a gig alphabeticing purchase orders).
Inevitably the Arrested Development movie query came up, getting a roar of cheers. “I am more excited than any of you to see that thing happen,” said Bateman. “I don’t have any breaking news to share with you today, other than to say it’s not dead. I spoke to Ron Howard a week ago and he’s very much behind it. They’re pushing it hard to the uber-uber bosses, the people who run the planet. It could start in as few as six months, or as many as 18.”