Sam Rockwell and Danny McBride are on a mission from God in the riotous first trailer for Don Verdean, the all-new comedy coming by way of Napoleon Dynamite duo Jared and Jerusha Hess.
Toplining the flick as Biblical archaeologist Don, Rockwell is channeling a comedic energy not unlike his turn in Seven Psychopaths as the naive and dim-witted explorer, who is tasked with unearthing the fabled and forgotten skull of Goliath from the sun-kissed hills of Israel. All of this is in an effort to reap the benefits of stumbling upon such a discovery, but when Don fails to locate the asset, he finds himself spinning an old yarn in order to cover both himself and his bumbling number two Boaz (Jermaine Clement) from the wrath of McBride’s character.
As Rockwell’s character so gleefully puts: “untruths are necessary for the greater good,” and that ought to give you an indication of the character’s deluded mindset going into Don Verdean. If there’s one element that defined Napoleon Dynamite, it was the comedic timing of Jon Heder’s oblivious lead, and though Rockwell’s religious crook is markedly different, the two still share traits of aloofness and general naivety that should ensure Jared Hess’ flick can attract an audience of its own.
Rockwell and McBride will be joined by Amy Ryan, Jemaine Clement and Will Forte when Don Verdean opens on December 11.
Don Verdean is a man of faith who has devoted his life to biblical archaeology, scouring the globe in search of artifacts that back up the teachings of Jesus Christ. Now, traveling from town to town, he and his devoted assistant, Carol, spread the gospel by peddling books and DVDs out of his shabby RV, while his Holy Land contacts, Boaz and Shem, do the digging from afar. When evangelical preacher Tony Lazarus offers to bankroll Don’s modest roadside operation, the escalating pressure to find increasingly significant relics leads Don and his team down a less-than-righteous path. With more than just the word of God on the line, Don finds himself in the midst of a spiteful feud between two opposing congregations, leaving him to question what is truly important in life.