Reno 911 vets Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon are back with Hell Baby, a horror comedy about expectant parents (Rob Corddry and Leslie Bibb) who move into a haunted fixer-upper. Garant and Lennon wrote, directed, produced, and star in the pic, which premiered at Sundance and co-stars Keegan Michael Key, Riki Lindhome, Rob Huebel, Paul Scheer and Michael Ian Black. Millennium will release Hell Baby on Ultra VOD July 25 and in theaters September 6. Here’s the first trailer:
EXCLUSIVE: Comedy Central is expanding its late-night block with a new show hosted by comedian/producer Chris Hardwick and co-produced by Funny Or Die. The untitled show, which will launch in the fall, will air four nights a week at midnight, following The Colbert Report, giving the network a 11 PM-12:30 AM block anchored by The Daily Show. Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant will serve as executive producers/showrunners on the Chris Hardwick show, returning to Comedy Central, where they co-created and starred on the cult series Reno 911! The show, Comedy Central’s first midnight strip, will be formatted as a comedic panel show that will have a heavy social-media presence integrated throughout. It is produced by Comedy Central and Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Funny Or Die, with Brillstein Entertainment Partners expected to executive produce along with Serious Business (Alex Blagg, Jason Nadler, Jon Zimelis) and Nerdist Industries, Hardwick and Peter Levin’s production company for multi-platform genre and pop culture content. In addition to the 11:30 PM broadcast late-night talk shows, Comedy Central’s Chris Hardwick program will face another new midnight cable strip — TBS’ series toplined by comedian Pete Holmes, which also is slated to launch in the fall and air four nights a week.
The Chris Hardwick show expands Hardwick’s relationship with Comedy Central, where … Read More »
Darko Entertainment and Principato-Young will produce Hell Baby, a comedy scripted by Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant that will mark the co-directing debut of the Night At The Museum writers. Rob Corddry and Leslie Bibb will star as an expectant couple that moves in to the most haunted fixer-upper in New Orleans. They call upon The Vatican’s elite exorcism team to save them from a demonic baby. Lennon and Garant will play the Vatican squad.
Sean McKittrick, Jeff Culotta and Ted Hamm will produce with Peter Principato and Paul Young. CAA will sell the film. Lennon and Garant are represented by CAA and Principato-Young, Corddry by WME and Principato-Young, and Bibb by ICM and manager John Carrabino.
EXCLUSIVE: Night At The Museum co-writer Robert Ben Garant has just been set by Disney to write Tux, an adaptation of the Japanese graphic novel Tuxedo Gin. The film will be produced by Principato-Young’s Paul Young and Peter Principato, VIZ Media’s Jason Hoffs, and Shogakukan’s Ichiro Takase. The rights to the Tokihiko Matsuura-created Japanese property, which were controlled by Shogakukan in Japan and VIZ Media in the US, took almost two years to close. The talks actually started before Rich Ross and Sean Bailey took over the studio.
Ross and Bailey have been veering away from talking animal films but made an exception here. The graphic novel has that element, but there is also a gritty storyline. The protagonist is a young street fighter who falls into a coma and learns that he has lived his life so selfishly that he only has enough karma points to be reincarnated as an animal 15 pounds or less. Trapped in the body of a chin-strap penguin, he tries to overcome the humiliation and rack up enough good deeds to get his old body back and save the girl he loves. Read More »
In what will be the first new production for the reconstituted MGM, the studio has set Vin Diesel to star in and produce The Machine. The action-comedy is being produced by Diesel’s One Race Films along with Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant. They wrote the script. MGM will next set a director and start production in the fall.
Diesel will play a human-like machine created in secrecy by the Pentagon to be the world’s first ultimate weapon. Some 20 years after the machine was decommissioned and buried, The Machine is discovered, reactivated and befriended by a kid. When the government learns that The Machine is back in operation, the ultimate weapon’s mission becomes to protect the family that is harboring him. Lennon and Garant’s scripts include the Night at the Museum franchise and The Pacifier, the latter of which starred Diesel and was made by Spyglass. Since Spyglass’s Roger Birnbaum, Gary Barber and Jonathan Glickman are calling the shots at MGM, it is a re-team across the board. I’m told the tone of the movie is somewhat similar to Iron Giant, the animated film with a protagonist that was voiced by Diesel. The hope is to create a franchise. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE:When you’ve covered film projects as long as I have, you can only wish to come across project log lines you haven’t heard a million times before. My wish has been granted by the Summit Entertainment comedy The Wee McGinty, which has just been creatively taken over by Night at the Museum scribes Tom Lennon and Robert Ben Garant. Said an insider: “Think Bourne Identity, but plug in a leprechaun instead of Matt Damon.”
Lennon and Garant have just closed deals to rewrite the script for Garant to direct, with Lennon playing a major supporting role. The premise: the height-challenged wish-granter loses his memory, and settles in with a group of Chicago firefighters. That bliss is threatened when he is discovered by his paramilitary leprechaun brethren. Among the pyrotechnics: a wish-off that involves a fire-breathing Doberman. Mark Gibson and Phil Halprin were the original writers.
The duo, repped by CAA and Principato Young, just finished writing, exec producing, starring in and directing a pilot for FX called Alabama, their first series since Reno 911!
EXCLUSIVE: Beyond the Jay Roach-directed political comedy pitch that has Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis attached, studios have a hot spec script to think about this weekend. CAA is out with The Boondoggle, a comedy that has been rewritten by Tom Lennon and Rob Riggle, with the duo starring as two guys who attend a boondoggle business trip, with everything imaginable going awry. Christopher Brian Halvorson wrote the first draft. Joe Roth is producing and Halverson’s manager, Barrett Stuart, will also be a producer.
Lennon usually writes with Ben Garant, with that duo responsible for the Night at the Museum and Reno 911! As an actor, he just completed roles in the upcoming comedies Bad Teacher, A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas and Cedar Rapids. Lennon and Garant are separately writing together the series creation Alabama for FX. Riggle, who started as a Daily Show correspondent, has risen through the ranks in comedies like The Other Guys, The Hangover, and Step Brothers. Deadline will keep you posted on the deal.
UPDATED: At the opening of FX’s executive session, president John Landgraf announced a 13-episode second season pickup of Louis C.K.’s new comedy series Louie five weeks into the show’s freshman run. Additionally, FX has greenlighted Alabama, a comedy pilot co-created and starring Reno 911! masterminds Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon. The pilot is set a thousand years in the future, aboard the United Nations peacekeeping spaceship: The USS Alabama. It follows the crew, who are in the sixth year of the their seven-year mission to maintain peace and enforce treaties between planets in their jurisdiction. Garant and Lennon are executive producing the FX Prods.-produced pilot with Peter Principato and Paul Young. It reunited Garant and Lennon with Landgraf who served as an exec producer on Reno.
During the Q&A portion, Ladgraf also “broke” news related to sibling broadcast network Fox. Mixing together the two subjects that had been taboo at the ABC (Steve McPherson’s resignation) and Fox (judge changes on American Idol) TCA presentations over the past two days, Landgraf said: “(Fox entertainment chairman) Peter Rice told me I could deny that Steve McPherson is becoming a judge of American Idol.”
Landgraf was asked to define the difference between a broadcast and cable drama series. ”There are 13 episodes a season for a cable series, 22 for a broadcast series. I’m not sure if there is any other distinction,” he said. But don’t expect FX to gradually morph into a network with a broadcast-size slate of original series. While FX has been rapidly expanding its series … Read More »