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THE ROCKER

About The Production
THE ROCKER's theme of second chances resonated with the filmmakers and cast. "THE ROCKER is a heartwarming, character-driven comedy about a guy who is getting a second shot at what he thinks is his birthright and what he knows is his lifelong dream,” says producer Tom McNulty, who developed the project with his partner at 21 Laps Entertainment, noted filmmaker Shawn Levy, director of Night at the Museum and Cheaper by the Dozen.

"It's a coming-of-age story, but for a 41-year-old, over-the-hill rock drummer,” says Rainn Wilson. Tied into the theme of second chances, adds the actor, is the universal dream of being a rock star. "Everyone –even movie stars – wants to be in a rock band (and vice versa). It's always been my dream.

"I was in the world's worst high school rock band,” says Wilson about his own stint as a wannabe rocker. "I sang, even though I had a terrible voice. We had a band called Collected Moss. We were awful.”

If anyone ever needed a second chance, it'd be Fish. Director Peter Cattaneo, who helmed the smash indie hit The Full Monty, notes that the character "has the biggest tumble a guy could ever have, missing out on the greatest opportunity of a life, by a hair.”

"Fish is suspended in adolescence because he's never gotten over the moment in his life when he lost his dream,” elaborates Ryan Jaffe, who penned the film's story. "He's in a pretty dark place, and joining A.D.D. is a last-gasp moment before adulthood. He stumbles into this amazing second chance at realizing his dream.”

"Going to the movies and watching Fish's story unfold – it's wish fulfillment,” Jaffe continues. "You feel like you're part of the dream for two hours.” Adds Christina Applegate, who plays Kim, mother to A.D.D.'s lead singer Curtis (and who becomes a potential love interest for Fish): "I think everyone wishes for second chances. People can relate to and enjoy movies about the human spirit and redemption.”

Given THE ROCKER's central notions of "what-might-have-been” and second chances, it's no accident that former Beatles drummer Pete Best has a supporting role in the film. Best is renowned for being the Fab Four's first drummer, joining the band in 1960, only to be dismissed two years later when The Beatles were on the verge of superstardom. (Best now fronts his own successful band.)

While the filmmakers point out that THE ROCKER is not Best's story, his life does have interesting parallels to the fictional tale of Fish. So, Best was invited to appear opposite Wilson in a key scene early in the story. Best read the script and, appreciating its humor and characters, agreed to take the role.

But before Best's participation was secured – even before principal casting was underway – producers Tom McNulty and Shawn Levy, of 21 Laps Entertainment, carefully guided THE ROCKER through development. McNulty brought in Maya Forbes & Wally Wolodarksy to work on the script. The screenwriters, whose work includes a stint on "The Simpsons,” brought verisimilitude to the project, as well as laughs. "They grew up in the rock business and love it,” says McNulty.

As work continued on the script, Cattaneo came aboard to direct. Rainn Wilson happened to be a fan of Cattaneo's The Full Monty, and he was delighted when Cattaneo took the reins of THE ROCKER. "I think what Peter did with The Full Monty is pretty remarkable,” says the actor. "It seemed entirely real, like you had stepped into this working-class English town and you were going on this journey with these characters. When we met about THE ROCKER, I could tell immediately that he just got the humor and tone of the film, and we've been on this enormous roller coaster ever since.”

The filmmakers' first order of business for the filmmakers was to catch their Fish: Rainn Wilson. "We wanted Fish to be a recognizable<

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