‘Shotgun Wedding’ Director Opens Up About Working With Jennifer Lopez On The New Comedy

Jason Moore’s new film could also be titled “Shotgun Wedding,” however the director jokes that the action-comedy extra precisely conveys the “wonderful, happy, exhausted feeling” of a post-reception afterparty.

“Shotgun Wedding,” launched on Amazon Prime final week, follows Darcy Rivera (performed by Jennifer Lopez) and Tom Fowler (Josh Duhamel) as they journey to a personal island within the Philippines to trade vows earlier than a bevy of company that features Jennifer Coolidge as Tom’s mom, Carol. Issues take an sudden flip, nonetheless, when a band of worldwide pirates descends upon the island, throwing the postcard-perfect nuptials into chaos.

Over the course of her movie profession, Lopez has demonstrated an affinity for wedding-centric movies, from 2001’s “The Wedding Planner” to 2005’s “Monster-in-Law” to 2022’s “Marry Me,” co-starring Owen Wilson. Offscreen, she’s additionally a cheerful newlywed, having tied the knot with Ben Affleck in July of final yr.

Josh Duhamel (left), Jennifer Lopez and Jason Moore on the premiere of “Shotgun Wedding” in Los Angeles.

Emma McIntyre by way of Getty Photos

Moore, nonetheless, believes “Shotgun Wedding” differs from these earlier films by subverting many romantic comedy tropes, beginning with the movie’s give attention to a extra mature couple.

“Most rom-coms are about people who meet and end up getting married,” he stated. “Ours starts with a wedding, pulls it apart, asks what’s important about the relationship and puts it back together again, which is something I’d never seen before.”

He went on to notice: “Listen, I love every one of [Lopez’s] rom-coms ― I’ve seen ‘Maid in Manhattan’ probably 50 times. But this is a character who’s saying: ‘I’m my own woman. I love you, but I don’t need a princess dress.’ She’s at a different stage in her life than a young blushing bride. She has divorced parents, so she’s a little afraid. I know Jennifer liked that component to it, that it’s about two people who are already in love and need to deepen their relationship.”

“Shotgun Wedding” is Moore’s third function movie, after 2012’s “Pitch Perfect” and 2015’s “Sisters.” The New York-based director has additionally labored on a lot of iconic tv sequence, together with “One Tree Hill” and “Dawson’s Creek.” However he’s maybe greatest recognized for theater, having directed the Tony-winning musical “Avenue Q” on Broadway.

Lopez "thinks like a director and, as you would expect, she’s incredibly prepared," Moore said.
Lopez “thinks like a director and, as you would expect, she’s incredibly prepared,” Moore stated.

That theatrical background got here in useful throughout pre-production on “Shotgun Wedding,” Moore stated, when he confronted a much-publicized casting debacle. Armie Hammer, the film’s authentic Tom, dropped out of the undertaking after problematic allegations concerning his interactions with numerous girls surfaced on-line.

Moore quickly drew up a brief record of actors who might substitute Hammer, with Duhamel rapidly changing into his and Lopez’s best choice earlier than filming on the film commenced within the Dominican Republic.

“One of the things I learned on Broadway is that, when an understudy goes on, that person is just as good if not better,” Moore defined. “I got Jennifer and Josh together on Zoom, and they were instantly poking fun at each other and finishing each other’s sentences. They already felt like a couple, and they could give each other shit, so I knew we would land where we should and we did.”

“Josh is dashingly 1940s movie star handsome, but he’s also not afraid to look vulnerable or silly,” he added. “He’s an athlete, so it’s really fun to watch him be back-footed. He and Jennifer knew each other long before the movie, so there was already a lot of trust between them.”

"They were instantly poking fun at each other and finishing each other’s sentences," Moore said of Lopez and Duhamel.
“They were instantly poking fun at each other and finishing each other’s sentences,” Moore stated of Lopez and Duhamel.

Praising Lopez’s consideration to element on-set as a co-producer on “Shotgun Wedding,” Moore believes she has the potential to step behind the digicam sooner or later sooner or later.

“She’s in a lot of the movie, so she shot almost every one of our 40 days. She’s aware of what everybody’s job is. She thinks like a director and, as you would expect, she’s incredibly prepared. She knows how to get on a zip line or drive a boat and not be scared. It steps up everybody’s game when she’s in the room.”

Moore talked about his hope of at some point directing an motion movie whereas directing Cher’s bio-musical, “The Cher Show,” on Broadway. Taking into consideration his experiences working with Cher and Lopez, the director names Helen Mirren, Taylor Swift and Emma Thompson as the celebs he’d like to work with subsequent.

“Maybe we can get all three of them together in one movie,” he quipped.

With his “Shotgun Wedding” expertise now behind him, Moore is forging forward by growing the movie variations of two books: Emma Straub’s “This Time Tomorrow” and Steven Rowley’s “The Guncle.”

“I’m drawn to sharp, left-of-center comedy,” Moore stated, when requested how these forthcoming initiatives will match into his cinematic oeuvre as an entire. “I’ve said before that a lot of my projects are about outsiders finding a family. And these are also about making, or blending, a family.”