While you were all warm and snuggly on this chilly first weekend of December, some magic was happening in Hollywood. Comedic magic, that is. Jay Roach, director of the wonderful "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery" and the not-so-wonderful "Dinner for Schmucks" (and a couple films in between) has managed to land Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis as the leads in his next film, a political comedy that will follow two presidential nominees and will be released to coincide with the 2012 presidential election.
The pitch, which was purchased by Warner Bros. on Sunday according to Deadline, will be written by "The Other Guys" co-writer Chris Henchy and "Eastbound & Down" writer Shawn Harwell. Let's just hope the comedy landscape doesn't change too much over the next two years, because these guys are pretty much on top right now for their work.
Before you get all up in arms about me saying that Will Ferrell is "on top" right now (yes, I know "Land of the Lost" was a flop), I'd argue that he is, in fact, on an upswing. Funny or Die continues to get more and more traction, his stint on "Eastbound & Down" (which is his, Danny McBride's and Jody Hill's baby) was well-received, his reprise on "Saturday Night Live" as George W. Bush was one of the highest watched episodes two seasons ago, and he's scored two huge hits this year with "The Other Guys" and "Megamind." This political comedy sounds like it's going to be a lot more in line with those projects than with the other Ferrell films we've come to know and dislike (hello "Semi-Pro" and "Blades of Glory").
Zach Galifianakis also just keeps getting bigger and bigger, though political comedy has never been his strong suit. I prefer my Zach served fresh, round and awkward, but I'm sure he'll be able to put his special brand of comedy to use in a campaign environment. And considering the 2012 election is shaping up to be interesting to say the least, this seems like the best year to be making a comedy satirizing it.
My hope is that this untitled comedy ends up falling more in line with "Butter," an upcoming comedy about a butter carving competition that is modeled after the 2008 presidential election. If Roach, Henchy and Harwell end up going this route instead of a typical slapstick, dumbed-down comedy, this film could end up being really great.
But, again, though Ferrell and Galifianakis are safe money in Hollywood right now, a lot can change in two years. Hopefully everyone involved realizes that they're going to have to make a really substantial script and not just ride on names alone to make sure they've got a hit on their hands. Though isn't that how these types of things should always be done?
Does this sound like your comedy dream team for a film, or do you have zero interest in seeing Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis together on-screen?