Legendary Entertainment has acquired the feature film rights to Emmy-nominated writer Simon Rich’s short story “Any Person, Living or Dead,” the studio announced Tuesday.
Rich, who has written for “Saturday Night Live,” “The Simpsons,” and has a credit on Pixar’s “Inside Out,” will adapt the short story for the big screen along with “Miracle Workers” writer Heather Campbell. Legendary has tapped Academy Award-nominee Kumail Nanjiani to star.
The short story was recently published by Little, Brown and Company in Rich’s collection of short stories titled “Hits and Misses.” It follows a brilliant reclusive scientist who, using his homemade time machine, gathers a roundtable of the greatest minds in history, including Shakespeare, George Washington and Aristotle, to solve all of humanity’s problems. Unfortunately, his plan fails to take into account language barriers, ancient racism and the tendency of medieval men to commit murder.
Instead of learning from these great men of history, the scientist has no choice but to hunt them down and blast them to the past before they can ruin our future.
“Any Person, Living or Dead” will be directed by Emmy nominee Jonathan Krisel, who is currently a writer, director and executive producer for FX Network’s “Baskets.” He previously wrote, directed and executive produced “Portlandia,” for which he received multiple Emmy nominations.
Rich recently wrote Sony Pictures’ upcoming untitled pickle comedy starring Seth Rogen and produced by his company Point Grey Pictures. Rich also created the TV series “Miracle Workers” which just finished its first season on TBS, as well as “Man Seeking Woman” for FXX. Rich is represented by UTA, Levine Greenberg Literary Agency and Eastman & Eastman. Campbell is repped UTA and Brillstein.
Nanjiani, who earned an Oscar nomination for his 2017 romantic comedy, “The Big Sick,” appears in the first episode of Jordan Peele’s new CBS series “The Twilight Zone,” in which he plays a stand-up comedian with a dark power.
Next up, Nanjiani will appear in the film “Stuber” from 20th Century Fox and then in Sony’s “Men in Black: International,” starring Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth. He recently wrapped as executive producer on Paramount Picture’s “Lovebirds,” which he will star in alongside “Insecure’s” Issa Rae, directed by Michael Showalter.
Nanjiani is represented by UTA, Mosaic, and Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham. Krisel is represented by UTA, Mosaic and Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner & Gellman.