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For over two decades, Eddie Murphy has reigned as one of the cinema's most popular comic actors – unsurpassed in his ability to take on multiple roles in a single project. In MEET DAVE, Murphy's prodigious physical and comedic talents are on display like never before, as he takes on two roles – as a man-sized ship operated by 100 mini-crewpeople, and the captain who runs the ship, which had been built in the captain's likeness. "It's Eddie doing what Eddie does best,” says director Brian Robbins.

But long before Murphy became "Big Dave” and "Little Dave,” screenwriters Rob Greenberg & Bill Corbett came up with the idea of a world of little people within the bigger world of a ship that takes human form. The two had met in college at the Yale School of Drama before going their separate ways, each enjoying success as writers – Corbett on the cult series "Mystery Science Theater 3000” and Greenberg on the hit sitcoms "Frasier” and "How I Met Your Mother.” For years they discussed working together, and then they met "Dave.”

Coming up with the wild notion of this world within a world was only the beginning. Greenberg and Corbett spent a lot of time fleshing out the premise, and making it as real as possible within its comedic and far-out context. "You can have a great, silly idea, but turning that into a good story that's funny and real is the challenge,” says Corbett. "We wanted to create strong characters and personalities, each of whom is on a journey towards at least a little bit of humanization.”

"Nobody's explored this idea – at least to this extent,” adds Greenberg. "We wanted to give this big crazy premise some semblance of reality – to create believable relationships and emotion, without sacrificing the big comedy beats.”

Greenberg & Corbett's family comedy story caught the attention of producer David T. Friendly, whose many credits include Twentieth Century Fox's blockbuster comedy "Dr. Dolittle” starring Eddie Murphy. "After reading the first act, I knew I wanted to make this movie,” says Friendly. "The screenplay evoked fish-out-of water stories with romantic underpinnings. And it kept surprising me.”

The script had also come to the attention of producers Jon Berg and Todd Komarnicki, then partners in the production company Guy Walks Into A Bar. Like Friendly, they were intrigued by the story's outrageous fish-out-of-water premise and its merging of physical comedy and emotion. "Todd [Komarnicki] read the script on a redeye back to New York,” recalls Berg, "and two hours into the flight, he was frantically writing messages that he sent as soon as he landed: ‘We have to buy this, we have to do this movie.'”

Adds Komarnicki: "I know everyone says these kinds of things when touting their projects, but reading the script was a singular experience. I knew that we had to be involved and do whatever necessary to get it made.”

Concurrently, director Brian Robbins was wrapping up the comedy "Norbit,” starring Murphy. Robbins, immersed in putting the finishing touches on what would become one of 2007's big hits, had not read the MEET DAVE script. But Murphy had, and the actor was spurred to move quickly. "Eddie came up to me and asked, ‘What are you doing after this?' And I said, ‘I don't know, you want to get some dinner?' Eddie said, ‘No, not tonight – for your next movie?!' And he handed me the MEET DAVE script.”

Echoing the mandate of screenwriters Greenberg & Corbett, Robbins says, "The first thing we wanted to do was to make a funny movie. Second to that, we wanted to give the movie a sweetness and emotion. The bonds between the characters give the movie its heart, which is surrounded by the comedy.”

The project's complex logistics were daunting. "MEET DAVE was a complicated movie to bring to life,” says Robbins. "There's an entire world

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