Jerry Weintraub has a message for everyone: His new HBO comedy "The Brink" has nothing to do with "The Interview."
You got that? Nothing.
"The Brink" stars Jack Black as a hapless foreign agent embroiled in a geopolitical crisis unfolding in terrorism-ravaged Pakistan. At the TV press tour Thursday in Pasadena, several reporters pointed out that the show is arriving in the wake of "The Interview," the feature comedy spoofing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that put Sony in the middle of a massive hacking attack and eventually involved the White House.
So trying to draw laughs from dangerous countries can be risky stuff, right?
Not according to Weintraub, who dismissed the notion out of hand. Repeatedly.
"We're not here to talk about 'The Interview,' " the legendary producer, whose career includes Elvis Presley concerts and "The Karate Kid," said in his Brooklyn accent. " 'The Interview' has nothing to do with this."
Another questioner noted that the Pakistani government had complained about the country's depiction on Showtime's thriller "Homeland." What would their response be this time?
"Whose response? Showtime's?" Weintraub said as the room erupted in laughter.
Weintraub seemed much more assertive than his cast, including Black and co-star Tim Robbins, who seemed uncharacteristically restrained and delivered only brief, unremarkable replies to questions. Black even cut himself off at one point, noting that he lacked the words to express what he meant. "That's why I'm not a writer," he said.
Jack Black, the high-energy star of "School of Rock," suddenly turns into a wallflower? That might have been the scariest aspect of the session.
But maybe not surprising. Weintraub had already made it clear that the session was going to stay on-message. "The Brink" is not "The Interview." There's not going to be a problem. Watch the show and then move along. Don't ask a bunch of pesky questions.
And no, he ain't worried. Got it?
"No fear on this stage," he said.