Since making his acting debut at age 12 on Little House on the Prairie, Jason Bateman has been primarily known as a TV star. He followed that show with main roles on Silver Spoons, Valerie (aka Valerie's Family and The Hogan Family) and a number of less successful series before resurrecting his career with Arrested Development.
But he's tried a few times to make the leap to the big screen. In the 1980s it was with the disappointing sequel Teen Wolf Too. In the 1990s there was the mediocre football comedy Necessary Roughness. And in the 2000s, he went for supporting roles in stuff as varied as Starsky & Hutch, Hancock, The Break-Up, The Kingdom and Juno.
Now, with the new comedy Bad Words, Bateman is on track to finally become a true leading man at the movies. In the last couple of years, he's had more starring roles yet he's tended to be part of a duo or trio so that he's not the primary star holding the thing together.
For instance, in Horrible Bosses he had help from Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day. With The Change-Up he was paired with Ryan Reynolds. And last year's big hit comedy Identity Thief has mostly been credited to Melissa McCarthy.
Bateman directs himself in Bad Words, which might have made it easier for him to take the front seat on his own. Hopefully it works out for him, because after more than 30 years he deserves to be recognized as much on the big screen as he is the small. And if it doesn't happen with this, maybe he needs one of his series to become a movie, and he can ride through that gateway.
Aren't they still talking about an Arrested Development movie?
To gauge how people have viewed Bateman's movie career thus far, we polled users on Twitter to see what fans considered the best feature he's appeared in. Here is a handful of the responses:
— Jordan Raup (@jpraup) March 21, 2014
@thefilmcynic DODGEBALL: A TRUE UNDERDOG STORY (Nah, JUNO).— Jesse A Carp (@jessecarp) March 21, 2014
@thefilmcynic The Kingdom— justin robinson (@TheJSRobinson) March 21, 2014
@thefilmcynic Horrible Bosses— Chris Sylvia (@sylvioso) March 21, 2014
@thefilmcynic Horrible Bosses. Though I'll be interested to see Bad Words.— Logan Noble (@logan_noble) March 21, 2014