Two-time Oscar nominee Jonah Hill is set to star in Todd Phillips‘ next movie “Arms and the Dudes,” while Miles Teller has an offer to join him, multiple individuals familiar with the project have told TheWrap.
Jesse Eisenberg and Shia LaBeouf were originally eyed to star, but Eisenberg is expected to reprise his role as Lex Luthor in WB’s “Suicide Squad,” which conflicted with “Arms and the Dudes.”
Hill will play one half of a pair of potheads who become unlikely arms dealers when they win a $300 million contract from the government to supply America’s allies in Afghanistan with weapons. As one might guess, the situation spirals out of control and the two find themselves way out of their depths.
While “Guardians of the Galaxy” hero Chris Pratt was rumored to co-star just before Thanksgiving, Teller is currently the frontrunner for the coveted role on the strength of his critically acclaimed performance in “Whiplash” and strong buzz for his turn as Reed Richards in Fox’s “Fantastic Four,” which hits theaters next summer.
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Hill’s casting has been an open secret in Hollywood for months, but it has been difficult to find the right co-star, as the chemistry between the two leads is important to both Phillips and the studio.
While Hill and Pratt worked together before on “Moneyball” (as well as WB’s “Lego Movie”), the “Guardians of the Galaxy” is weighing several projects. That allowed Teller to surge to the front of the pack earlier this week, and the “Whiplash” star is now considering an offer provided scheduling obstacles can be overcome.
Jason Smilovic wrote the script, which is based on a Rolling Stone article by Guy Lawson. Phillips will produce with Mark Gordon and Bradley Cooper. Production is expected to start in the spring.
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Hill is coming off the smashing success of “22 Jump Street,” which grossed $331 million. He’s part of the comedic ensemble of the Coen brothers’ next movie “Hail, Caesar!” and he next stars opposite James Franco in the thriller “True Story.” Hill, who earned Oscar nominations for “Moneyball” and “The Wolf of Wall Street,” is repped by WME, LBI Entertainment and Jackoway Tyerman.
In addition to “Fantastic Four,” Teller recently wrapped the “Divergent” sequel “Insurgent” and he’s currently filming the boxing movie “Bleed for This.” He’s also slated to reunite with “Whiplash” director Damien Chazelle on the musical “La La Land,” though that project could push to accommodate “Arms and the Dudes.”
Teller is represented by CAA and attorney Chad Christopher.