Anyone who follows Simon Pegg on Twitter knows that he’s been teasing his involvement with a new film, one whose details have been kept under wraps. Thanks to Variety, we now know that it’s a “psycho-comedy” called A Fantastic Fear of Everything, which is written by musician Crispian Mills, who is co-directing with Chris Hopewell. Production has been going since July 6th, but these are the first details we’re hearing of it.
The story is centered on “a children’s author turned crime novelist” who begins to develop a strong sense of paranoia and constant fear that he’ll be murdered after he researches Victorian serial killers. Eventually, a screenplay he wrote catches the attention of a Hollywood producer, leading to “a big breakdown.” Also starring are Amara Karan (who was seen in The Darjeeling Limited), Clare Higgins, Sheridan Smith, and Alan Drake.
This has the special distinction of being the first movie to receive funding from Pinewood Shepperton Studios’ new independent film company, Pinewood Films; Universal Pictures and Indomina Releasing are also financing, and the latter will both handle worldwide sales rights and release the film in the U.S. The project sounds like good material for the actor, who has shown in work like Spaced that he can play manic rather well. Even though he’s had some trouble really breaking out in America, I think it’s mainly because he hasn’t found the right project to exhibit his talent. I don’t know if this is that film, but if it can do that, then I’ll be pretty thrilled.
Jason Bateman, who was a co-star to Pegg on Paul, has also signed on to a comedy which will have him in the lead. Pajiba (via ThePlaylist) says that this movie is We’re the Millers, which is being directed by Dodgeball‘s Rawson Marshall Thurber; you may recall that the actor had a small role in that movie as a sportscaster.
A stoner comedy that’s been compared to National Lampoon’s Vacation, The Hangover, and Bateman‘s own Horrible Bosses, it follows a drug dealer who wants to do one more job. To pull this off, he travels to Mexico and creates a make-believe family, which would allow him to cross the border with 1,400 pounds of marijuana. After renting an RV, he pulls together the family, which is composed of “a stoner neighbor kid who is borderline retarded and a sassmouth prostitute.” The script is said to be both hilarious and mean, which is something that we know he can do at this point.
I am, as you can probably tell, a big fan of the guy, and even Thurber has done good work in the past with Dodgeball, so the two getting back together on something that sounds this outlandish appeals to me on a purely comedic level. All I worry about is the project not staying together; it’s been through a few people already, including Hot Tub Time Machine directors John Morris & Sean Anders and actors like Will Arnett and Steve Buscemi. But things seem to really be moving forward, so I think this team can take it to the screen.
Does either project sound interesting to you? Are you excited to see Pegg and Bateman in starring roles?