Byington's Back

Local writer/director to shoot Jason Schwartzman feature in town this spring

(l-r) Nick Offerman, Jason Schwartzman, and Bob Byington at Cinefamily in 2013
(l-r) Nick Offerman, Jason Schwartzman, and Bob Byington at Cinefamily in 2013 (Courtesy of Cinefamily)

Somebody down here likes Austin.

After celebrating the Austin release of his fifth feature, Somebody Up There Likes Me, at the Violet Crown Cinema last April, writer/director Bob Byington will bring the spotlight back to his hometown to shoot his next feature – Seven Chinese Brothers – here in February and March. Better still: He's bringing Jason Schwartzman, too.

Seven Chinese Brothers has been a long time coming. At the time of the release of Harmony & Me in 2009, Byington told the Examiner that he'd written the script in May 2001. For a time, it was even slated to begin filming in town in 2010, starring Tunde Adebimpe (Rachel Getting Married). The cast has changed, the timeline has slid, but the story remains the same: "a comedy about taking the easy way out." Between the false start and the almost-13-year-old script, it's probably safe to say Byington is taking anything but the easy way out with this project.

Star Schwartzman is no stranger to working with Austin directors, having starred in a handful of fellow University of Texas alum Wes Anderson's features. (Their latest collaboration, The Grand Budapest Hotel, is due in theatres in March.) The production company, too, has a tangential Austin connection: While Faliro House is a Greek company, it had its name on both Byington's previous feature and Richard Linklater's Before Midnight in 2013.

This is Byington's sixth feature, following Somebody Up There Likes Me (2012), Harmony & Me (2009), RSO [Registered Sex Offender] (2008), Olympia (1998), and Shameless (1996).

At press time, Academy Award winner Olympia Dukakis (Moonstruck), who worked with Schwartzman on HBO's Bored to Death, was also confirmed as part of the cast. Keep an eye on this space and our website for more casting announcements as they become available:

Update (Jan. 20): Byington wrote Jan. 18 to say Tunde Adebimpe was on board again as of late last week.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Bob Byington
Bob Byington and Kaley Wheless Go to Nebraska in <i>Frances Ferguson</i>
Bob Byington and Kaley Wheless Go to Nebraska in Frances Ferguson
Small-town sins follow an unlikeable person in this likable film

Richard Whittaker, March 8, 2019

My Obsession: Bob Byington Dials in to the <i>555</i>
My Obsession: Bob Byington Dials in to the 555
Austin filmmaker shares his love for new sketch comedy series

Bob Byington, Feb. 17, 2017

More by Monica Riese
A Paramount Slate
A Paramount Slate
Paramount and Stateside programming heats up

April 3, 2014

Board Games and More
Board Games and More
Announcements from the Austin Film Society

April 2, 2014


Bob Byington, Seven Chinese Brothers, Somebody Up There Likes Me, Jason Schwartzman, Faliro House, Austin film production

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle