Zach Braff explains why he hasn’t made another film since GARDEN STATE

James Wallace

by: James Wallace
April 22nd, 2011

When it rains Zach Braff, it pours Zach Braff. Well, not really, but considering that the guy gave us the beloved GARDEN STATE (and subsequently one of the best soundtracks of the decade) and then nothing for the last seven years (yes, it's been that long), two news stories in a day about the actor/writer/director are essentially a torrential downpour.

Yesterday, we brought you the trailer for Braff's new starring role, the indie THE HIGH COST OF LIVING. Now Braff says he will next star in THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA with Chloe Moretz and Jessica Biel. The feature-length debut from assistant director turned director Bill Purple (GREEN LANTERN, BAD TEACHER, HESHER), SEA centers around an architect (Braff) who loses his wife and, in his grief, befriends a young girl (Moretz) who he agrees to help build a raft to cross the Atlantic.

As for his prolonged writing/directing hiatus, Braff says the reason is simple. He wants to make a good movie, something I imagine is quite hard when Hollywood came knocking on his door after GARDEN STATE's success offering what were likely movies about "snowboarders and shit."

Braff spoke to ComingSoon about the challenges of making his second feature,

"Now I’ve had two movies almost come together, both of which fell apart. I could have made a crap movie ten times over but I’m trying to make a really good movie that I stand by and that I believe in, so tell all of those people who are waiting, ‘I thank you so much and it’s coming.’ I’ve been trying to navigate the Hollywood system and make something really good that you’ll all like again and not make something that I don’t believe in."

That next film could possibly even navigate all the way outside of the Hollywood system going the self-financed route, as Braff told Movieline he has a desire to turn a play he's written entitled All New People into a film.

“One idea is to forgo the whole system — to kind of go the Tyler Perry route and make a really small-scale movie… And Gary Gilbert, who financed GARDEN STATE has already said he’d finance it. So if the things that are on my burners that require more of a substantial budget don’t come together, I think what we’re going to do in maybe the fall or winter is that I’m going to direct and Gary’s going to produce a movie on this scale so we can just make something.”

Whatever it is I for one, as well as many of you I'm sure, are anxiously awaiting Braff's return to the director's chair. And if you're not, maybe the play's synopsis will peak your interest.

"It’s the dead of winter and the summer vacation getaway of Long Beach Island, New Jersey is desolate and blanketed in snow. Charlie is 35, heartbroken and just wants some time away from the rest of the world. The island ghost town seems to be the perfect escape until his solitude is interrupted by a motley parade of misfits who show up and change his plans. A hired beauty, the townie fireman, and an eccentric British real estate agent desperately trying to stay in the country suddenly find themselves tangled together in a beach house where the mood is anything but sunny."

Head over to Movieline to read the rest of what Braff had to say about his future in filmmaking.

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  • Ryan M.

    He did direct a 7 episodes of Scrubs throughout the seasons. Those episodes always had better soundtracks as well…

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