Filming of Aziz Ansari’s Directorial Debut ‘Good Fortune’ Halted Due to Writers’ Strike
- Before this film, he was making “Being Mortal,” based on Atul Gawande’s nonfiction book, which was also canned this March after production was shut down last April after sexual misconduct allegations were made against actor Bill Murray.
There’s another victim of the ongoing writers’ strike: Aziz Ansari’s directorial debut “Good Fortune,” starring Keanu Reeves and Seth Rogen. “While the filmmakers still hope that production can resume at some point before long,” The Hollywood Reporter (THR) noted that “the project also faces danger if the strike extends through the summer and beyond.”
In addition to directing “Good Fortune,” Ansari also wrote the screenplay. Since he did not write any “ additional material during filming,” the production continued up to a point “though picketers reportedly disrupted filming in Los Angeles on multiple days,” THR said. The entertainment portal also speculated that the continuation of the shooting through the initial days of the strike “played a big role in the production getting put on pause for the time being.” It is “notably the first studio feature that had already started filming to be halted after the strike, though many others that were in pre-production have also been shelved.”
The film was announced in April, but no plot details were revealed. Ansari stars in the film as well, along with Reeves and Rogen, and also serves as a producer alongside Anthony Katagas and Alan Young. The project was reportedly planned to be shopped at the Cannes Film Festival market by Lionsgate.
Before “Good Fortune,” Ansari was directing “Being Mortal,” based on Atul Gawande’s nonfiction book, “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End.” The film was canned this March after production was shut down last April after sexual misconduct allegations were levied at actor Bill Murray.
News reports at the time said Murray allegedly kissed and straddled a female member of the crew. He later said it was meant as a joke. After Searchlight departed the film, leaving it in limbo, Murray settled the lawsuit out of court for a reported $100,000. The film was set to star Murray, Keke Palmer, and Seth Rogen. Not too many details were known about the plot. According to Puck, after production was shut down and Searchlight departed the film, Ansari tried to find a new home for his film but was unsuccessful. However, it appears Ansari and Searchlight Pictures are still interested in working together.
The Indian American is most known for creating the Netflix series “Master of None,” which is loosely based on the Indian American’s real-life experiences. He plays the role of Dev, a New York-based actor who is struggling to identify what he really wants, both personally and professionally.
His most recent comedy special, “Nightclub Comedian,” for Netflix, premiered on Jan 25, 2002. In the half-hour special he addresses all that has happened since 2019, being back in New York City after moving to London, his reactions to how the world and society have changed because of COVID, anti-vaxxers and more. He is more self-reflective and empathetic these days and he encourages everyone to do the same, especially people with different views than our own who he believes are simply “trapped in a different algorithm.”
Ansari’s 2019 Netflix special “Right Now,” was nominated for a Grammy for Best Comedy Album. Directed by Spike Jonze, it addressed the anonymous sexual misconduct accusation made against Ansari in 2018. “It made me think about a lot, and I hope I’ve become a better person,” he told the audience.
(Top photo, Indian American comedian Rajiv Satyal with fellow strikers in Los Angeles.)