Paint: Owen Wilson Channels Bob Ross in First Look at Upcoming Comedy

Our first look at the upcoming comedy movie Paint reveals Owen Wilson like we’ve never seen him before. Clearly inspired by the story of late artist Bob Ross, the film stars Wilson as a television painter hosting a public TV show in Vermont whose livelihood is threatened when a younger painter comes into the picture. As reported by Deadline, the film was acquired by IFC Films for a North American release, finally bringing the project to life after the screenplay first hit The Black List in 2010. The first look photo, seen above, has Wilson’s Carl Nargle painting as he appears on his TV show with a paintbrush in one hand and a wooden pipe in his mouth.

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A description for the movie reads:

Paint follows Carl Nagle, Vermont’s No. 1 public television painter who is convinced he has it all: a signature perm, custom van, and fans hanging on his every stroke… until a younger, better artist steals everything (and everyone) Carl loves.

Along with Wilson, the film stars Michaela Watkins (Casual), Wendi McLendon-Covey (Reno 911!), Ciara Renee (Legends of Tomorrow), Lusai Strus (Search Party), Stephen Root (Barry), and Lucy Freyer. Brit McAdams wrote and directed the movie, which was produced by Peter Brant and Sam Maydew.

“We’re thrilled to finally work with the boundless and versatile talent of Owen Wilson, as he effortlessly brings Carl Nargle’s character to life from a savvy script and direction by Brit McAdams,” IFC Films President Arianna Bocco said in a statement. “Paint has all the makings of a quotable comedic masterpiece, and we hope audiences of all ages are ready for a lot of laughs and a lot of heart.”

McAdams’ own statement also noted, “In every step of making the film, we’ve fought to team up with talented collaborators who are also good people. From our first conversation, IFC felt like the perfect home for Paint, not only because of how much they love the film and how respected they are in the industry, but also because of who they are as individuals. We’re all beyond excited to have them add their signature to this picture.”

Bob Ross Inspires the New Comedy Paint

As seen in the first look image, the physical similarities alone make it clear that Owen Wilson’s Carl Nargle is heavily inspired by Bob Ross. As fans will know, Ross first found great fame as the host of the public TV show The Joy of Painting. Each episode would feature Ross calmly speaking to viewers as he worked his way through beautiful paintings that he’d started from scratch. Ross hosted the series from 1983 until his passing in 1994, though he has remained popular in recent years with the program’s availability on streaming. The late painter also lived in Florida rather than Vermont, so there will be some key differences between Ross and Carl Nargle as well, despite their many similarities.

Paint will be released in movie theaters on April 28, 2023, following by a streaming release exclusively on AMC+ later in the year.