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OLD DOGS

Becoming "Old Dogs"
Take Robin Williams and John Travolta and put them in a movie about a couple of single guys who run a sports marketing firm, then toss in some of Hollywood's funniest actors. What do you get?

"It's definitely a broad comedy with a lot of funny set pieces,” says producer Andrew Panay, "but most importantly, it's got a lot of heart.” "I rarely read scripts where I'm just laughing out loud,” says director Walt Becker. "It has a great balance of heart, comedy and wonderful characters.”

"I love working with John; he's a kick. He's not afraid to try stuff. There are so many great people in this movie. That's what's been amazing,” says Williams. "Kelly Preston—she's fearless. Seth Green, he's got it all going on, he's funny. Rita Wilson, plus Matt Dillon as a scout master being the alpha male is pretty great, too.”

On the heels of his immensely successful film "Wedding Crashers,” producer Andrew Panay met with screenwriters David Diamond and David Weissman at a favorite Los Angeles eatery where the story began to take shape.

The film's "old dogs”—long-time friends and business partners in their 50s—are indeed set in their ways. "One of the men discovers that he's the father of fraternal twins that he never knew about, the result of a hasty one-day marriage,” explains writer Weissman. "Now both men, who have never had children, are forced to deal with two 7-year-old kids and all the pitfalls that come with it.” The filmmakers admit that the script was developed and written with a cast already in mind. "Our first choices were always John Travolta and Robin Williams. There are only a few guys that this movie is right for, and they are two of the best in the world. I mean, you don't get much better,” says Panay. "It's really an honor to cast two screen legends together in this film. It's just a dream come true.”

Becker worked with Travolta on the box-office smash hit "Wild Hogs” and was excited to have him on board. "John's always great to work with. He's just about the nicest human being on the planet and as an actor he elevates every single scene he's in,” Becker says. "In terms of instincts, he's always right. We've learned to trust each other, and when he's feeling something is working or I feel something is working, we kind of run with it.”

Travolta viewed the role as a unique opportunity to combine broad comedy with deep emotion. "My character Charlie likes his privacy, he likes his life, and he has lots of nice, expensive things—a great apartment, a cool car. He never planned on a family,” says Travolta. "I look for parts that I can do something with. I like to think, ‘Can I contribute something special and make it worthwhile for someone to use me in a film?' It's very important that my interpretation of the character benefits the story.”

Casting Robin Williams opposite Travolta created the ultimate dream team, according to the filmmakers. Says Becker, "This could be one of the greatest comedy pairings in a long time.”

Becker describes Williams as the consummate performer. "It's incredible. He's an encyclopedia of jokes, but he's also got incredible depth as an actor. He can throw so much emotion just off a look and in the next second be incredibly funny.”

Williams portrays Dan, a brilliant but uptight executive who is also a romantic at heart. And when he gets impulsive, it's in a big way. While recovering from a difficult divorce in South Beach with his pal, Charlie, Dan finds himself in a quickie marriage—followed by a quickie divorce. Unbeknownst to Dan, he fathers twins during the brief encounter. Williams saw the film as an opportunity to revisit fatherhood. "Baby boomers are getting old. You find yourself taking a lot more time to do everything. We are now our paren

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