Film details and two trailers for indie comedy The Great Buck Howard

Colin Hanks - John Malkovich and Ricky Jay in The Great Buck Howard
Colin Hanks - John Malkovich and Ricky Jay in The Great Buck Howard

“I love this town!”
– Buck Howard

After causing more than a few bursts of uncontrollable laughter as C.I.A. operative Osbourne Cox in The Coen Brothers’ Burn After Reading, John Malkovich returns to the humor genre with The Great Buck Howard. The Sean McGinly (Two Days, Brothers) written and directed film, originally screened at Sundance in 2008.

Here is a synopsis of The Great Buck Howard:
Once upon a time, Buck Howard (Malkovich) spent his days in the limelight. His mind-boggling feats as a mentalist extraordinaire – not to be confused with those of a mere magician – earned him a marquee act in Vegas and 61 appearances on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. In his own humble opinion, his talents go far beyond simple sleight of hand – he can read minds and hypnotize not just a single soul but an entire room of people! But nowadays, it’s clear to everyone but Buck that his act has lost its luster; he performs in faded community centers and hasn’t sold out a theater in years.

Yet, with a hearty handshake and a trademark “I love this town!” Buck Howard perseveres, confident in his own celebrity, convinced his comeback is imminent. He just needs a new road manager and personal assistant. As it turns out, recent law school drop-out and unemployed, would-be writer Troy Gable (Colin Hanks) needs a job and a purpose. Working for the pompous, has-been mentalist fills the former requirement, but how it satisfies the latter is questionable, especially to his father (Tom Hanks), who still assumes Troy is in law school. Nonetheless, with the aid of a fiery publicist (Emily Blunt) and a bold stroke of fate, Buck surprisingly lands back into the American consciousness, taking Troy along for the ride of his life.

As the coveted spotlight again shines on the great Buck Howard, Buck becomes the unlikeliest of teachers as Troy learns a few tricks he couldn’t possibly have picked up in law school.

Cast: John Malkovich, 
Colin Hanks, 
Emily Blunt, 
Steve Zahn, Ricky Jay, Tom Hanks, Tom Arnold, Griffin Dunne
Writer/Director: Sean Mcginly
Producers: Tom Hanks, 
Gary Goetzman, 
Steven Shareshian, Marvin Acuna

The Great Buck Howard will be available on HDNet Ultra VOD February 20th and opens in theaters on March 20, 2009.

Check out the trailer below.

CLICK HERE to watch a larger version of the trailer on Yahoo Indie Film.

Below is another trailer for The Great Buck Howard, that features cameos by magician David Blaine and talk show host Conan O’Brien.