Years and years on, I can’t quite “figure out” Justin Theroux. The actor-writer has appeared in great films (Mulholland Dr.) and terrible ones (Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle), scripted some quality material (Tropic Thunder) and total dreck (Rock of Ages). I don’t even know where the heck this guy came from. Did David Lynch and Ben Stiller just discover him at the same time?

Then, one evening, I read he’s been tapped to direct a comedy starring Will Ferrell and Steve Carell. (A mystery worthy of its own Inland Empire subplot.) News of the hiring comes from Deadline, who report he’ll direct the pair in Warner Bros. and Gary Sanchez Productions’ I Swear to God, which will begin shooting in July.

The comedy, originally scripted by Alan Freedland and Alan Cohen, is expected to get a rewrite from its director; specific changes notwithstanding, we’ve already been informed the film will center on “a narcissistic hedge fund manager (Ferrell) who thinks he has seen God.” Anything pertaining to Carell‘s own work is, I’m sorry to say, not at our disposal.

So long as you can ignore questions of the director’s vitality, it’s not hard to see what potential could very well lie in I Swear to God — i.e., its two stars are funny on their own and funny together. Theroux is still something to ponder — he’s only directed one other feature: 2007’s indie dramedy Dedication — though a deft visual hand isn’t always required in these sorts of films; they’re really about timing, above all else. (Don’t take this as some sort of implication that he’ll be a stale voice, though. The future Zoolander 2 job should mean one thing or another.) With Ferrell and Carell taking the leads, that job’s halfway done.

Is I Swear to God off to a strong start?

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