After years of acting in hit movies and TV series, including Juno and Arrested Development, Jason Bateman makes his directorial debut this spring with the dark comedy Bad Words. Starring as the misanthropic Guy Trilby, a middle-aged man who never passed the eighth grade, Bateman finds a loophole in the rules for The Golden Quill spelling bee, a competition designed for school children, and enters himself into the contest.
In this exclusive trailer, Bateman doesn’t pull any punches on the road to victory, lashing out at both children and adults. He booby-traps a man’s toilet, and he also engages in verbal battle with a husky young competitor, whispering, “Your chair called me for help. It was like, ‘Help me, it’s so heavy.'”
Despite Bateman’s vicious demeanor, he starts to soften after befriending another lonely contestant, the 10-year-old Chaitanya, played by Rohan Chand of Homeland. Inexperienced in dealing with children, Bateman entertains the young spelling bee whiz with such kid-appropriate activities as sprinting through the supermarket with live lobsters and doing donuts in a convertible late at night.
Bad Words opens in select theaters on March 14th and nationwide on March 28th.