October 16, 2019
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Maine native to direct comedy on $40M counterfeit coupon ring starring Kristen Bell and Leslie Jones

Ryan Alexander Kahm | BDN
Ryan Alexander Kahm | BDN
Gita Pullapilly and Aron Gaudet, from left, direct Sarah Sutherland in "Beneath the Harvest Sky" filmed in The County in August and September of 2012.

Old Town native Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly, the husband-and-wife filmmaking duo behind the Maine Troop Greeters documentary “The Way We Get By,” are set to write and direct a comedy film starring Kristen Bell and Leslie Jones.

Movie industry blog Deadline announced on Friday that Gaudet and Pullapilly will write and direct “Queenpins,” a dark comedy starring Kristen Bell from “The Good Place” and “Saturday Night Live” star Leslie Jones as two Arizona housewives who come up with a way to counterfeit coupons, and find themselves sitting atop a $40 million coupon cartel. “Queenpins” is based on an actual 2012 case out of Arizona involving a couponing scheme that sent two women to jail.

Gaudet is an Old Town native and a 1996 graduate of the New England School of Communications in Bangor, and is the son of the late Joan Gaudet, one of three Maine Troop Greeters profiled in Gaudet and Pullapilly’s 2009 documentary, “The Way We Get By.” The documentary showcased the Maine Troop Greeters, who for nearly 30 years have greeted every plane that stops at Bangor International Airport, returning troops from overseas.

Gaudet and Pullapilly’s second film was “Beneath the Harvest Sky,” a 2013 feature set in Aroostook County during the fall potato harvest, telling a story about rural life, drug addiction and teenage friendship. It was filmed in and around Van Buren in 2012, and starred Callan McAuliffe (“The Walking Dead”), Emory Cohen (TV’s “Smash” and “The OA,”), Aiden Gillen (Littlefinger on “Game of Thrones”), and Sarah Sutherland and Timothy Simons, both of HBO’s “Veep,” the latter of whom is also a Maine native.

The pair were set to direct another film, “Crook County,” about an undercover FBI agent trying to root out corruption in Chicago. Though Adam McKay and Will Ferrell signed on to produce the film via their production company, Gary Sanchez, the film appears to be in what Hollywood types call “development hell.”

“Queenpins” does not yet have a release date, and there is no word yet on when filming will commence.

 



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