As the 20th Century Fox 3D Fantastic Voyage continues to take forever to get underway (script is there, but it’s pricey and they’ve had trouble casting it), I’m hearing persuasively that director Shawn Levy will likely take another Fox film, Frankenstein, as his next effort. John Davis is producing it. Fox wants to move quickly on the Max Landis-scripted thriller based on the classic monster from Mary Shelley’s public domain novel, and I’m told the studio wants Levy. They are beginning creative conversations with an eye toward this filling his winter/spring slot. The studio is eager to get out in front of the seven other Frankenstein films that are percolating all over town. Levy’s latest film, the Hugh Jackman-starrer Real Steel, will be released Oct. 7 by Touchstone. He’s eyeing a handful of possible next projects, but I’m putting my money on it being Frankenstein. Meanwhile, Levy is producing Neighborhood Watch, the Akiva Schaffer-directed Fox comedy that stars Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller, and which just got Jonah Hill aboard.
Newly svelte Jonah Hill (almost unrecognizably so) has been formally set to star alongside Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn in Neighborhood Watch, the Akiva Schaffer-directed Fox comedy. Shawn Levy is producing through his 21 Laps banner. Hill will next be seen starring opposite Brad Pitt in Moneyball, which premieres next month at the Toronto Film Festival, and he stars in the David Gordon Green-directed Fox comedy The Sitter. He’ll look like a different actor in Neighborhood Watch, because you can see he has slimmed down quite a bit. He’s repped by WME.
His eponymous FX comedy may have been snubbed in the best comedy series category, but comedian Louis C.K. still managed to become the most nominated person at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards with four noms, sharing the honors with The Lonely Island’s Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone. Louis C.K. was nominated in the lead comedy actor category for his role on FX’s Louie, in the writing for comedy series category for penning the Poker/Divorce episode of the show, as well as in two Variety, Music or Comedy special categories for his Epix comedy special Louis C.K.: Hilarious — for writing and for editing. Three of Schaffer and Taccone’s four nominations were in the Original Music and Lyrics category, in which The Lonely Island’s Schaffer, Taccone and Andy Samberg have a regular presence, often in tandem with Justin Timberlake, having won an Emmy together for Dick In a Box. This year, Saturday Night Live is completely dominating the category with four of the six nominations: three for Schaffer, Taccone and Samberg’s digital music videos I Just Have Sex, Jack Sparrow and their latest collaboration with Timberlake, 3-Way, and one for the song from host Timberlake’s opening monologue. Schaffer and Taccone’s fourth Emmy nomination is in the writing for VMC series category for their staff-writing duties on SNL.
20th Century Fox might finally be getting going on Neighborhood Watch, a comedy that has long been a priority. The studio is negotiating with Akiva Schaffer, who is one-third of the “Lonely Island” team that created those digital shorts on Saturday Night Live, to direct. The studio likes Ben Stiller for the lead role in the comedy, which has a script by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg that has got Schaffer and Stiller interested. Shawn Levy is producing. The lead role is a newcomer to the neighborhood whose idea to join the neighborhood watch to get socially acclimated goes awry when aliens get involved. Unclear if Stiller will have the time. He’s coming off a Broadway turn in the revival of the John Guare play The House of Blue Leaves, and he’s got about five films percolating. They include the remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Zoolander 2 (Stiller wrote the script with Justin Theroux), the Noah Baumbach-directed While We’re Young, and the Africa-set comedy Help Me Spread Goodness. Stiller most recently wrapped Tower Heist for Universal.
Schaffer, who makes the SNL Digital Shorts with Andy Samberg and Jorma Taccone, previously directed Samberg in the comedy Hot Rod.
EXCLUSIVE: A comedy starring Wilmer Valderrama has landed at ABC. American Dad co-executive producers Murray and Judah Miller created the project, a live-action comedy with a musical component. They will write the script and serve as showrunners. Saturday Night Live writer Akiva Schaffer, who directs, co-writes and edits the majority of the late-night sketch show’s digital shorts, developed the untitled comedy with the Miller brothers and is on board to direct the potential pilot. Valderrama, Murray Miller, Judah Miller and Schaffer will all executive produce. 20th Century Fox TV, where Valderrama is under a talent holding deal, is producing the project, which has landed a script commitment plus penalty.