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Sad news, folks. We’re seeing reports on Facebook that Danny Leiner, the director of the beloved comedies Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle and Dude, Where’s My Car? has passed away following a long illness.
Leiner got his start with the well-received short films My Birthday Cake and Time Expired, which led him to make his feature debut with the 1996 comedy Layin Low starring Jeremy Piven and Edie Falco. Four years later, he was tapped to direct the Ashton Kutcher-Seann William Scott comedy Dude, Where’s My Car?, where he also worked with a young Jennifer Garner. The film grossed $73 million worldwide on a $13 million budget, proving to be a modest hit for 20th Century Fox.
Success - Dude - New - Line - Offering
The success of Dude led to New Line offering Leiner another stoner movie, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, which spawned two sequels and boasted John Cho and Kal Penn as leads long before Hollywood prioritized diversity and inclusivity. The two proved to have dynamite chemistry together, so the Harold & Kumar franchise became a major win for representation, with Leiner being a big part of that.
After a pair of stoner comedies, Leiner was eager to mix things up and spread his wings as a filmmaker. He directed the 2005 dramedy The Great New Wonderful, which weaves five stories against the backdrop of an anxious and uncertain post-9/11 New York City. He also produced the acclaimed indie films The Architect starring Anthony LaPaglia and Viola Davis,...
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