LOS ANGELES - What do you do if you want to make a movie that has no pre-written dialogue, puts sexy movie star Eva Mendes in a "fat suit" and has a leading man who is old and intensely unlikeable?
It does not take a marketing genius to see that this would be a hard sell, but that is exactly what comedian Larry David and director Greg Mottola set out to do with Clear History, a dark comedy about a luckless man who sells his shares in a start-up just before it goes public and makes billions.
Unsurprisingly, they had some trouble convincing a movie studio to back them.
So they found a home on television instead with HBO Films, which is emerging as a haven for projects that have been unable to find financing or distribution from risk-averse studios.
This was how HBO also came to screen the critically acclaimed Behind The Candelabra, the recent Liberace biopic by director Steven Soderbergh.
Clear History, which David co-wrote and stars in, is about a marketing executive, Nathan Flomm (David), who becomes a laughing stock when he prematurely leaves a job that would have made him a billionaire.
The show, which premiered in Singapore on HBO on Tuesday, has an all-star cast that includes film actors such as Mendes, Kate Hudson and Michael Keaton, television star Jon Hamm, and comedians Bill Hader and Danny McBride.
At a press event in Beverly Hills, Mottola tells Life! that most of the cast were drawn to the project by David's reputation.