EW Staff
August 12, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Think ”Project Greenlight” crossed with ”Goodfellas” — but, you know, funny. Matthew Broderick stars as a wannabe director who thinks he’s making an independent film when, in reality, he’s a pawn in a scheme cooked up by FBI agent Alec Baldwin to infiltrate the Mafia’s Teamsters-union ties. As Baldwin gets caught up in dreams of Hollywood glory, Broderick finds his movie spinning out of control. Screenwriter Jeff Nathanson (”Catch Me if You Can,” ”The Terminal”) considered directing to be ”a horrifying prospect” until Disney urged him to give it a shot with this project, which is based on an actual case that took place in Rhode Island in the 1980s. As it happens, his anxiety was ideal fodder. ”All Matthew had to do was look at me and he could tell how his face was supposed to look at any given moment,” he jokes.

Broderick, of course, had his own filmmaking misadventures to draw on (and we’re not just talking about ”The Stepford Wives”). ”We’ve all had our version of [using] a garbage dump in Rhode Island to stand in for the Grand Canyon,” he says.

What’s at stake Nathanson has another film in development at Disney that he hopes to direct, so hopefully this isn’t his last shot.

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