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Louis C.K. made a movie without telling anyone, and it's almost here

Louis C.K.
Debby Wong /
Remember Pootie Tang? Yeah, so do we — even if we wish we didn’t. Released in 2001, the blaxploitation satire film represented Louis C.K.’s most recent directorial credit for a feature-length movie. In the 16 years since, the comedy legend has directed comedy specials and television episodes (mostly his own shows), but never movies.

On Tuesday, though, the Los Angeles Times reported that C.K. is debuting a new project at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), titled I Love You, Daddy. C.K. will star in the film as Glen Topher, a successful New York television producer and writer and Chloë Grace Moretz (Clouds of Sils Maria) will play his daughter, China.

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The black-and-white movie was shot in secret on 35mm film and somehow did not leak a single time — a minor miracle in the 24/7 news cycle of modern Hollywood. The cast of I Love You, Daddy is littered with stars, including Charlie Day (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), John Malkovich (Deepwater Horizon), and Louie veteran Pamela Adlon (Californication), though we don’t yet know anything about their roles.

C.K. is no stranger to surprise rollouts. Last year, his hit web series Horace and Pete appeared on the comedian’s website without notice, quickly attracting a cult following. Louie, his popular cable series, has been on indefinite hiatus for a few years. It’s likely that his extended break from directorial work was due to clashes over creative control; the production for Pootie Tang was notoriously frustrating for C.K., who vehemently disagreed with Paramount on several points. In a 2011 interview, he said he prefers to work with “nobody controlling him (sic).”

TIFF– which opens September 7 — will play host to a number of anticipated films, with directorial debuts from Brie Larson (Unicorn Store) and Aaron Sorkin (Molly’s Game), plus John Curran’s Chappaquiddick (based upon the Ted Kennedy accident), and more.

Until recently, most film festivals ignored television content, but that’s begun to change of late, with new TV sections at TIFF, Sundance, and Tribeca. On the television front at TIFF, two episodes of HBO’s James Franco vehicle The Deuce will screen, as will four episodes of Starz’s The Girlfriend Experience.

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