Empire recently got a chance to chat exclusively with Ben Stiller about two films he’s involved with. One is IT Crowd star Richard Ayoade’s Submarine, which boasts Stiller as a supportive executive producer. The other, which we managed to get him talking about, is a slightly anticipated comedy sequel currently known as Zoolander 2.
Discussing the further adventures of Derek Zoolander (Stiller) and fellow model Hansel (Owen Wilson), Stiller naturally couldn’t say too much at this early stage, but he was happy to share some details.
"Where it’s at is we've completed the script, Justin Theroux and I, and handed it into the studio,” he told our Nick de Semlyen. “Now the studio has the script and we’re at that point where we’re waiting to see what they want to do. It’s ten years later and most of it is set in Europe. I don’t want to give away too much, but it’s basically Derek and Hansel ten years later – though the last movie ended on a happy note a lot of things have happened in the meantime. Their lives have changed and they’re not really relevant anymore. It’s a new world for them. Will Ferrell is written into the script and he’s expressed interest in doing it. I think Mugatu is an integral part of the Zoolander story, so yes, he features in a big way.”
As for Submarine, even Stiller is at a loss to explain the exact circumstances that got him involved with the coming of age comedy. But it has a little something to do with one of writer/director Ayoade’s previous gigs.
“Garth Marenghi I had seen and was a fan of. That was all I knew. So I can’t say that we had any kind of relationship beforehand. We just got sent the script – I don’t even know, to tell you the truth, how we got hold of it – but Richard’s agent might be our agent too. But we thought it was a really great script and then I saw his videos that he had directed and just thought he had a really interesting sensibility. We met and he’s just a very thoughtful guy. And I thought what he did with the movie was very assured and bold, for a first film. Just his process was very specific. I had a really good experience with him.”
He’s also full of praise for the film’s young stars, as well. “I thought Craig (Roberts) was amazing too. I felt like he and Yasmin (Paige) both, you could sense that they so trusted Richard as a director. I loved that he is very honest but also very funny. Their relationship is so funny but also has the awkwardness. The cast and the director – everyone’s just doing their thing and not apologising for it.”
Submarine arrives on March 18, and there’ll be more on it in a future issue. When can we expect Zoolander 2? It’s in the hands of the development gods for now…