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YOU, ME AND DUPREE

About The Production
Perhaps he is the last man standing after all of our friends get married. Or maybe he is that well-intentioned pal who lingers on your couch a little too long when he drops in for a vacation, insisting you go out every night for beers. Who among us doesn't have a "Dupree?” It was exactly this character archetype that inspired screenwriter Michael Le Sieur to pen You, Me and Dupree.

"The idea started during my own wedding a year and a half ago,” says Le Sieur. "It was a time when a lot of my friends were also getting married, and my groomsman was in most of their weddings. He was the one who was ‘always the groomsman but never the groom,' the one who helped pick out the china patterns—the so-called orphan of the crowd. I thought it could be a great backdrop for a film: two guys, who are best friends, until one of them breaks the rules and finds a wife.”

As Le Sieur was writing the script, Dupree took on a life of his own, and the screenwriter quickly realized that his character has a universal appeal. The words on his pages spelled it out: there's practically no one who doesn't have a "Dupree” in his or her life.

"There seems to be enormous identification with this guy,” continues Le Sieur. "He inspires comments from a lot of people who want to share their own personal ‘Dupree' stories with me. Either they have someone just like him in their life or they are the ‘Dupree' to their friends.”

Luckily for Le Sieur, this project defied all the rules in traditional filmmaking. It had quite a short gestation period, going from concept to script to the first day of shooting in less than a year—almost unheard of by Hollywood standards.

"Owen Wilson became involved with the project during the development process,” explains the writer. "We were in the same agency, and my agent gave Owen the first draft. He was always my dream actor for the role, but when he became a collaborator the project took off. His contributions are sprinkled throughout the script, maximizing the inventiveness of the characters. My first meeting with Owen was in December 2004 and by the middle of March, we sold it. By the first week of October 2005, we were filming. It's been an unbelievable 12 months.”

Producer Scott Stuber, who recently transitioned from vice chairman of worldwide production for Universal Pictures to an exclusive, five-year production deal with his partner, Mary Parent, chose You, Me and Dupree as one of his first projects. He instantly clicked with the concept and soon he, Parent and Wilson brought brothers Anthony and Joe Russo on board.

"I felt You, Me and Dupree hit universal themes,” says Stuber. "It was funny, unique and a perfect role for Owen Wilson. It's hard to find a comedy with a continuum of concept that also has depth. This is a great story about marriage, friendship and family. The first thing I remember thinking was, ‘I know this guy Dupree…and so will a lot of other people.'”

Fellow producer Mary Parent continues, "What I responded to in the script was that it wasn't just telling one side of the story. We see shifting points of view—male and female opinions of marriage and of how things change for a couple and their friends once they say ‘I do.' There are many layers to the story that contribute to the comedy as well as the heart and emotion of the film. The nature of friendship and how it is tested in both good and challenging times is explored as Dupree's quest to find a calling dovetails with Carl's struggle to maintain his own sense of self as the pressures of marriage and career begin to escalate.”

In approaching his role, Wilson agreed with Le Sieur that one of the keys to the film's believability was ensuring that Dupree maintain a lack of guile, in spite of the havoc he creates for Carl and Molly.

For Wilson, the script represented the<

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