NBC’s Thursday night comedy lineup looks to be pooling its talented resources for a feature film.
Mandate Pictures has acquired an untitled comedy pitch from "Parks and Recreation" star Aziz Ansari and "30 Rock" writer Matt Hubbard. Harris Wittels ("Parks and Rec," "Human Giant") is writing the film, which will reunite Ansari with his future "30 Minutes or Less" co-star Danny McBride.
Besides being attached to star in director Ruben Flesicher’s pizza deliveryman comedy, the unlikely comedy duo appeared separately in Jody Hill’s "Observe and Report." I think both actors are unique comic talents with very different strengths that should compliment each other nicely.
Plot details are being kept under wraps and there is no director currently attached to the project, which is expected to begin production sometime next year.
Rough House Pictures, the production company that McBride created with fellow producers Hill, David Gordon Green and Matt Reilly, will produce the film, while Ansari will serve as exec producer with Mandate president Nathan Kahane.
Lost amidst the starry names of this announcement is the significance of the impressive rise of Wittels, a 26 year-old Emerson graduate from Houston who got his start in 2007 as a staff writer on "The Sarah Silverman Program" and has since made quite a name for himself in the comedy writing world.
Wittels certainly deserves some of the credit for the fact that "Parks and Rec" has really found its comedic voice this season, so it’s good to see him working with Ansari again.
A producer on Comedy Central’s "Secret Girlfriend," Wittels is also a prominent stand-up comic who often performs improv and sketches at UCB-LA.
Ansari will host the MTV Movie Awards on June 6th before shooting "30 Minutes" in July, after which McBride will spend the rest of the summer shooting the second season of HBO’s "Eastbound & Down." Ansari will next be seen in "Get Him to the Greek," while McBride stars opposite James Franco and Natalie Portman in Green’s "Your Highness," which was pushed from October to April 8, 2011.