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THE WHOLE TEN YARDS

Production Information
The Whole Ten Yards was a result of spontaneous combustion when the original cast reconvened at the press junket for The Whole Nine Yards, nearly a year after wrapping production on the hit comedy. Most had not seen each other in the interim but they immediately fell into their former rapport and began to reminisce about the good times they had together shooting the film and developing their quirky characters. They imagined the kinds of situations these characters might find themselves in if there was a second installment to the story. 

How would married life work out for newlyweds Oz and Cynthia, and how would notorious hit man Jimmy The Tulip take to his new role as a househusband? Will novice assassin Jill ever get the hang of, well, the hang of it? And was it really possible for Jimmy and Oz to expect that their whopping big lie about Jimmy's death would go undetected forever or that either of them could ever really, truly, finally relax? Suppose it all comes back to bite them… 

"The cast started kicking around ideas for another movie even before the first one came out,” says producer David Willis, one of the producers on the original film. "It started all of us thinking along the same lines.” 

Once the actors had committed to reprising their original roles for part two, the producers handed the reins to director Howard Deutch, fresh from his 2003 DGA-nominated directorial effort Gleason. Adept at capturing the dynamics of on-screen comedy partnerships, Deutch counts among his credits The Odd Couple II and Grumpier Old Men, starring Hollywood legends Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. The director's renowned sense of comic timing and his willingness to incorporate unscripted moments that might suddenly emerge from his active and collaborative cast made for a relaxed atmosphere where one joke would quickly spark another and it was up to Deutch to keep a firm grip on the story.

"I'm not a big believer in improvisation for its own sake,” Deutch explains. "I think it needs a foundation and basic parameters. But when a scene is making sense and fully grounded, then you can lift off and let the actors mess with it and have fun. They can capture the text and then elevate it with their own ideas and inspiration.”

Helping to provide that foundation is screenwriter George Gallo, who recently worked on Bad Boys II and is perhaps best known for the classic action comedy Midnight Run, in which tough guy Robert De Niro first showed off his comic talent. "The trouble with some sequels is that they almost do the same movie over again,” says Gallo, who began with the characters and story created by Whole Nine Yards screenwriter Mitchell Kapner and brought them into 2004. "People change over time, and I wanted to know what happened to them since the last movie ended. Jimmy has retired and moved to Mexico where he has time to examine his life, have some kind of nervous breakdown and then develop this domestic passion that, presumably, keeps his old demons at bay – but barely. His former protégé, Jill, is now his wife and trying to launch her own career as a paid assassin but she's not very good at it. Plus, she really misses their old life.” 

Meanwhile, back in Los Angeles, "Oz is living in constant fear that the Gogolak gang he helped Jimmy double-cross will come back to get him,” adds Deutch. "He can't help feeling that it's not over yet and is constantly looking over his shoulder. He's thinking about building a moat around his house. He's got barbed wire, security cameras in every tree and every high tech gadget imaginable, trying to protect himself and his wife, who's getting sick and tired of his mounting paranoia. The funny thing is, he's right, but she won't believe him.”

As much as Oz wants to avoid the Gogolaks, Jimmy wants to avoid anything connected with his former life – that is, his identity as a hit man, his association with the Gogo

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