Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: While he’s right now playing a lovable drunk in the Arthur reboot after portraying that drunken rock star in Get Him To The Greek, Russell Brand is finally getting the chance to play an old-time hero. Brand is the catalyst for Hawkwood, an action comedy that’s been acquired by 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment. Jared Stern will write the script. Brand’s deal is being negotiated by WME, but he’ll play the title role in an action-comedy that follows the adventures of a real-life swashbuckling figure, John Hawkwood. A morally challenged but gifted swordsman, Hawkwood was paid to lead various European armies during the Renaissance wars. Brand will produce with Peter Chernin and Dylan Clark, and Nicky Weinstock will be executive producer.

Brand heard about the historical sword for hire, and mentioned Hawkwood to Peter Chernin’s head of comedy Nicky Weinstock. While he was Judd Apatow’s partner, Weinstock worked with Brand on the films Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him To The Greek. Weinstock did the research, and they brought in scribe Stern, who knew Brand from doing rewrite work on Arthur. Stern is also well thought of at Fox for his script Neighborhood Watch, which has Pete Segal circling as director and Shawn Levy producing. Brand, Stern and Weinstock pitched it to Emma Watts, production president at Fox, where Chernin Entertainment has its deal.

Brand just completed the role of Trinculo in The Tempest, the Julie Taymor-directed film that will debut at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals. He also provides the voice of the Easter Bunny in the Tim Hill-directed Hop, the next film by Despicable Me producer Illumination Entertainment. Brand’s repped by WME.