"Seinfeld" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" alumnus Larry Charles has signed on to direct Jim Carrey in the outrageous comedy "Pierre Pierre," reports Deadline.
The story follows an obnoxious Frenchman who transports a stolen painting (the Mona Lisa) from Paris to London.
In 2007, the screenplay from then-unknowns Edwin Cannistraci and Frederick Seton made the Black List before selling to Fox Atomic's Debbie Liebling and Peter Rice in a heated bidding war. Not long after, red-hot "Juno" filmmaker Jason Reitman became attached to direct.
Since then, the project has hit a few stumbling blocks. Reitman exited to go make "Up in the Air" and Fox Atomic disappeared into thin air. Liebling flew the coop for Universal, while Rice moved up the ladder at Fox.
Without a powerful filmmaker or executive left to champion "Pierre Pierre," the project fell into turnaround.
Cut to present day, where original comedies are all the rage in Hollywood right now in the wake of the success of films such as Charles' "Borat" and one-time "Borat" director Todd Phillips' "The Hangover."
Having proven he can launch original comic character, Charles seems perfect for "Pierre Pierre," which I've read and can safely say has a strong "F— You" vibe running through it.
I thought Charles' documentary "Religulous" had a bit of the same attitude, as he refuses to make any apologies for the material, and I think the pairing of Charles and Carrey is a perfect combination for this project, which is a hard-R.
ScriptShadow reviewed the screenplay several months ago, and the unlikable title character introduces himself to the audience with this choice little nugget: "My whore mother and idiot father f—ed some years ago and nine months later I was ripped from oblivion's womb into this s— life … I want so very f—ing much to be nothing again." And that vulgarity is pretty much the tone of the entire script, which could result in a movie that could wind up either really grating or a foul-mouthed breath of fresh air coming from such kid-friendly comedian.
Now that Charles will be bringing his own brand of wacky humor to the mix, producers Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch of Escape Artists and Category 5's Brian Sher will shop the project around again with a budget just over $20 million, the same amount of money that Carrey used to command on his own.
Carrey's "Yes Man" wasn't a huge hit at the domestic box office but he's still one of the few comedy stars worth gambling on, and just because the script wans't reader-friendly doesn't mean this unique brand of humor won't work onscreen when delivered from the mouth of a truly gifted comic actor.
Carrey's other controversial comedy, "I Love You Philip Morris," remains delayed indefinitely. He's also circling the 20th Century Fox family film "Mr. Popper's Penguins," as well as his first musical, a big-screen adaptation of "Damn Yankees" that may star Jake Gyllenhaal.
There's no start date mentioned for "Pierre Pierre" but Carrey's next project hasn't been decided, so it's possible things could get moving quickly on this one.