Jason Bateman’s ‘Bad Words’ Wins Raves, Big Studio Pickup

Monday, September 9, 2013
By Kevin Crossman

Jason Bateman in Bad Words

Jason Bateman in Bad Words

Jason Bateman’s feature debut as a director, Bad Words, debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival and won immediate raves for it’s dark comedic edge. The film features Bateman in the starring role and costars Kathryn Hahn, Allison Janney, Phillip Baker Hall, and Rohan Chand. The film features Bateman playing a nasty character for the first time since The Ex, playing a man who exploits a loophole to enter an eighth grade spelling bee. The former Black List script is from first-time screenwriter Andrew Dodge.

The film was quickly picked up by Focus Features for a big $7 million for a release in 2014. Given the festival buzz and Bateman’s recent R-rated comedy success, it seems Focus might have a breakout hit on their hands.


Mr. Bateman portrays Guy Trilby, a 40-year-old man seeking catharsis in his life. He seizes the ideal that this will come for him through…the National Spelling Bee; after discovering a loophole in the rules, Guy zealously joins the competition and easily outpaces the pre-teen field in match after match. As reporter Jenny Widgeon (Kathryn Hahn of Afternoon Delight) delves into Guy’s story, Guy finds himself forging an unlikely friendship with a competitor, awkward 10-year-old Chaitanya (Rohan Chand of Homeland), which may spell things differently for his future.

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