By now you've undoubtedly heard something about how there are several big tentpoles - Avengers: Age of Ultron, Jurassic World, Terminator: Genesis - slated to open in Summer 2015 ("Summer" in Hollywood, that is). Will there be any movies arriving during that time period that fall outside the categories of sequels, reboots, or adaptations based on pop intellectual properties (comic books, video games, etc.)?
Well yes, believe it or not, and one such project is Grimsby, a spy comedy co-written and headlined by Sacha Baron Cohen, with Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk, Clash of the Titans (2010)) calling the shots on the production scheduled to begin this summer. It may be that Leterrier's commitment to Cohen's new laughfest will end up preventing him from helming the sequel to his magician heist hit Now You See Me (expected to begin filming this September) - if not, then he'll have to jump right from the one to making the other, with little break room in-between.
Anyway, Grimsby - based on a script that Cohen co-penned with frequent collaborator Peter Baynham (Borat, Bruno) and screenwriter Phil Johnston (Wreck-It Ralph) - revolves around a highly-effective and dangerous British black-ops agent, who must hide out with his not-so-intelligent English football-loving brother (Cohen) when things go wrong at work. Deadline is reporting that Paramount is committed to Grimsby, as part of the studio's freshly-renewed first-look deal with Cohen's Four By Two Films banner; a July 2015 date has already been set for the comedy.
Leterrier's involvement suggests that Grimsby will be more action-oriented and slick in design than Cohen's past comedy vehicles, while the storyline doesn't seem to lend itself quite so easily to the stereotypical Cohen formula - where the comedic actor plays a caricature inspired by some real-world public figure(s) - though English football culture will almost certainly take a beating. Borat and Bruno also included caught-on-camera pranking as part of the shtick, unlike Cohen's last starring vehicle, The Dictator.
A fresh(er) approach would be more than welcome with Grimsby, since Cohen's Borat-style act has pretty much run its course at this point in his career. Cohen has blended solid character acting with physical comedy in his recent performances - the war-disabled Train Inspector in Hugo and conniving inn owner Thénardier in Les Misérables - so fingers crossed, he continues that trend with his upcoming spy comedy (opposite a more serious actor as the straight-man described in the premise).
As for Grimsby's July 31st, 2015 release, it current faces opening day competition from the Peregrine's Home for Peculiars adaptation. Competition from other comedy helpings shouldn't be a problem, what with Ted 2 arriving a month earlier than Grimsby. Likewise, the Melissa McCarthy vehicle Susan Cooper (also a spy comedy) will hit the scene a month ahead of Seth MacFarlane's sequel and two months ahead of Cohen's new film.
Does Grimsby sound like your cup of tea? Let us know in the comments section!
Grimsby opens in U.S. theaters on July 31st, 2015.