But just days before a meeting on the take-over, one of his better employees suffers an injury to his private parts. And to make matters worse, a cute con artist named Cindy (Mila Kunis) shows up as a temp worker at the factory. Her quest: to romance the injured worker and convince him to sue so she can share in the pay-out. Further complicating the situation is Joel's attraction to Cindy, despite the fact he's married. Throw in a best friend who does drugs and dispenses horrible advice - which Joel follows - and that's Judge's Extract.
At the LA press day for the Miramax comedy, Jason Bateman talked about working with Judge, the creator of Beavis and Butthead and King of the Hill, and the writer/director of Office Space and Idiocracy. "He’s very, very easy," said Bateman of his experience with Judge. "It’s very effortless. I think he does most of his work before the production starts. He writes a great script and then he casts people that do exactly what he’s written these characters to do, so I think it is probably just indicative of how lazy he is. He doesn’t like to work very hard on the set. He likes to sort of just watch TV and say yes and no, cut and action."
Bateman's said before that he's fine with supporting roles because they can lead to a longer lasting career. But with Extract, Bateman's definitely the leading man. "It’s not a risk if Mike Judge is out in front," explained Bateman. "I’ve got this thing with Jennifer Aniston next year, so that’s a lead but she’s out in front. This Couples Retreat thing, you know, I’m safely at number two underneath Vince [Vaughn]. He can carry it. I’m fine with that, but I’m not looking to be the star of a movie just to be the star of a movie. I’d love to be the star of the movie if it’s a director’s vehicle like this is, or name it. Any sort of celebrity director, these filmmakers, the Michael Manns or Peter Jacksons or Steven Spielbergs or whatever it is, then yeah, obviously I’d want to be number one. But a lot of times actors will sort of attach themselves to a project and then they’ll just hire whatever director is available to shoot the movie. That’s usually a recipe for disaster. I’ve seen, I’ve read."
According to Bateman, the reason he wound up starring in Extract is because he and Judge share a manager (Michael Rotenberg). "[Michael] knew that Mike had this script or this idea. I think Mike started writing this back in the Office Space days. And so when Arrested Development started to take off, I think Michael remembered this script that Mike had and thought that I would fit this part in this movie quite easily because they’re very, very similar - sort of these straight men, these conservative guys that are in the middle of a bunch of craziness. So we showed Mike some episodes of it and Mike agreed. That’s how this came about."
Extract-Flavored ComedyExtract is most definitely a comedy, but Bateman's not a real fan of the teaser trailer because he doesn't believe it adequately reflects the actual tone of the film. "You never know what marketing’s going to come up with. They’re sort of their own little fiefdom over there. It’s certainly funny. I don't know, honestly, if it sets the table properly for what you expect from the movie," confessed Bateman. "I personally feel that the teaser, which is what’s out there, there isn’t even a trailer for this film, it’s a teaser that everybody’s been looking at, a guy gets his ball sack blown off and I take a big bong hit. I mean, it makes you think that you’re about to see something that is a bit more of sort of the recent comedies that have been out, as opposed to stuff that is more consistent with Mike’s sense of humor and comedic tone, which is a bit more muted. "
"Those two moments in the teaser are a bit sort of high concept and a bit broad. His stuff is much more sort of character-based and scenes are very long. There’s a lot of conversation and dialogue, as opposed to big, comedic set pieces. So I hope it sets the table properly for the audience and that the audience doesn’t go into it thinking it’s going to be a movie full of those kinds of moments. Because if that’s what they’re expecting, they’re going to walk away from the film and give it what I think would be a false negative, thinking that, 'Well, it didn’t live up to that.' So if it were me, I would’ve cut a different trailer or actually cut a trailer and set the groundwork for people to be in the right mood, the right gear for this brand of humor, which is a bit more subtle than what the teaser indicates."
J.K. Simmons plays Bateman's business partner and Ben Affleck co-stars as Bateman's best friend. Although the three actors have no problem improvising, this time they stuck to the script, for the most part. "I don’t remember any real significant improvising in this movie," said Bateman. "We really didn’t need to. Because he doesn’t write a ton of jokes, there’s not a lot of... When a script’s filled with jokes, you can very often pull that joke out and put another one in. He writes character comedy so if you start changing the dialogue, you start changing the character. He writes real well. There’s no need to punch it up or change at all. We’d keep it loose because he likes conversational, sort of free-flowing type of acting, non-acting, so we would do that. But he didn’t need any dumb suggestions for us."
David Koechner shows up as Bateman's annoying, intrusive neighbor, and Bateman said working with Koechner resulted in a lot of wasted film. "Kristen Wiig and I just, we’d lose it every time we did a scene with him. He just does such a good job in that part. That part and Brad the gigolo played by Dustin Milligan are my two favorite characters in the movie. Certainly those two actors did not waste the parts. They did a great job."