"Funny guy" documentary maker Morris eyes comedy

Tue Apr 8, 2008 5:43am EDT
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By Steven Zeitchik

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - After two war movies, documentary filmmaker Errol Morris wants people to know that he really is "a funny guy."

His next project won't be a documentary at all but a scripted feature based on a true story that will contain comedic elements.

Morris will write the screenplay for the movie, titled "The End of Everything." The film is still coming together, but its exotic plot is said to entail a range of subjects including a wingless bird, "Gone With the Wind" author Margaret Mitchell, a volcano and Laura Bush.

Morris is in negotiations with Participant Prods. for the project, he said; the politically minded banner produced the auteur's upcoming "Standard Operating Procedure."

Morris was most recently in theaters with 2003's "The Fog of War," an Oscar-winning study of Vietnam-era Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. "Procedure," an investigation into the Abu Ghraib scandal, opens April 25 via Sony Pictures Classics.

But Morris said he wanted to turn to a less topical and more whimsical idea for his next film.

"I'm a funny guy, and I'd like to make something funny now," he said. "I can't see myself making one political film after another. I'm glad I made these two movies, but I'd like to do something different."

Although the many elements in "Everything" would seem to make for an unruly lasso job, Morris has a penchant for pulling together disparate subjects, as he did with the exploration of four seemingly unrelated characters in 1997's "Fast, Cheap & Out of Control."   Continued...

<p>Director Errol Morris attends a news conference to present his film "Standard Operation Procedure" running in competition at the 58th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 12, 2008. REUTERS/Johannes Eisele</p>