Jonah Hill will begin filming his new dark comedy, Arms and the Dudes, in Miami today. In the forthcoming film, Hill plays Efraim Diveroli, a Miami man heavily involved in the international arms-dealing business. Arms and the Dudes is based on the true story of how two stoners from Miami Beach scored a $300 million contract from the Pentagon to become weapon suppliers for U.S. allies in Afghanistan.
Hill, and his partner David Packouz, played by Miles Teller (Divergent), find themselves completely out of their element, way over their heads, and stuck fighting to overcome multiple countries international security obstacles. Somehow, simultaneous wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, hinged on the arms deals brokered by two guys that met at Beth Israel Congregation, the largest Orthodox synagogue in Miami Beach.
Arms and Dudes, based on a 2011 Rolling Stone article by Guy Lawson titled, “The Stoner Arms Dealers: How Two American Kids Became Big-Time Weapons Traders," is being directed by Todd Phillips. Phillps is best known producing and directing Old School (2003), The Hangover Part II (2011) and The Hangover (2009). Arms and the Dudes is the first project that Hangover star Bradley Cooper and Phillips will co-produce since recently put together a new production team together.
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Hill's character, Efraim Diveroli, grew up in the arms business, but had never operated one himself until he began researching how to score contracts with the US government. During the Bush administration, arms needs rose from $145 billion in 2001 to $390 billion in 2008, meaning the government was in need of outsourced supply. According to U.S. law, such contracts must be opened up to an auction, and Diveroli slowly learned how to get his foot in these auction doors, undercutting large companies with reduced prices on after-market foreign arms he acquired by making cocaine-fueled marketing calls throughout the night to shady men in distant countries.
Meanwhile, Packouz attended the University of Florida, until one day Diveroli asked him to join his business with the promise of huge money and a lavish lifestyle. The two would work entirely out of a one-bedroom Miami Beach apartment at first containing desks facing each other, surrounded by piles of marijuana and multi-million dollar government arms contracts they somehow talked high-ranking officials into giving them. The story of the two Miami kids turned international arms dealers includes some amazing high-tension situations and multiple mistakes that would eventually lead to their downfall.
Arms and the Dudes is set to film in Miami the next few weeks, and hits theaters in 2016.