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THE BREAK-UP

About The Production
Actor/writer/producer Vince Vaughn was growing weary with the majority of romantic comedy scripts he received. They always seemed to have a subplot with clichéd wackiness of a couple in love going through some insurmountable task before they found their Hollywood ending. For years, he wanted to make "the anti-romantic comedy” and tell the story of love gone wrong. He believed that relationships were challenging and humorous enough without delving into a silly subtext, such as marrying someone in 10 days to get 10 million dollars.

The actor, who has starred in a string of highly successful films, including 2005's top-grossing comedy Wedding Crashers, as well as Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Dodgeball, Old School and Starsky & Hutch explains: "I wondered, what about a movie that's not really a traditional romantic comedy? I thought of the movie The Odd Couple and how it would be interesting to see two people go through a break-up, and the pains of a break-up, while living under the same roof. Comedy's always an over-commitment to the absurd. But I always like things based in reality.”

The idea was one that occupied Vaughn's attention for the next several years, but it wasn't until he met writers Jeremy Garelick and Jay Lavender that The Break-Up would start up. The first-time screenwriters had been working on their own treatment, a comedy script starring Vaughn. "It was August of 2001, and we wrote a script with Vince in mind,” recalls Lavender.

Lavender and Garelick sold their script for the "Vince Vaughn comedy,” which eventually crossed the desk of Vaughn's manager, who liked what he read. The writing partners found themselves in the same room as the actor/producer in December 2002 to discuss the project, but Vaughn had something else in mind. He revealed his idea for a "break-up movie” to the team, and by the end of the meeting, it was clear that the three were on the same comedy page and up to the challenge.

It would take a couple years for the project to gel, but in late 2004, they would spend three months at Vaughn's Los Angeles home/war room, collaborating 12 to 20 hours per day on the script. "We were living at Vince's house for three months,” laughs Garelick.

During the writing process, Vaughn, Garelick and Lavender would act out many of the scenes and improvise the dialogue. "There would be times when Vince would go off on a rant, and we could literally have five pages of material from that,” remembers Lavender.

Garelick and Lavender felt they really "found the movie” after digging into the script for those three months, and the writing partners credit Vaughn for shepherding the project and keeping the creative juices flowing. Says Lavender, "There isn't a part of this movie that Vince hasn't put his stamp on.”

With the script complete, Vaughn put on his producer's hat and shopped The Break-Up around Hollywood. Previously a producer on the 2001 crime comedy Made with teammate Jon Favreau, Vaughn would produce The Break-Up as the first film under his new production banner, Wild West Picture Show Productions. It didn't take long to find the right studio. After a 30-minute pitch meeting with Universal Pictures, the executives were sold.

Notes producer Scott Stuber, "Romantic comedy scripts are challenging, as few stories are able to take emotional risks and not lose the comedy. But after reading the script and meeting with Vince and the writers, it was clear this one was different and would make both a very funny and emotional film.”

Now that he had a studio on board, Vaughn's thoughts immediately turned toward a director. During discussions with the studio, the name Peyton Reed came up. Reed had directed the bubbly comedy-romance Down With Love, starring Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor, and the cult classic/cheerleading comedy Bring It On, with

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