Games of Thrones has made Peter Dinklage a household name in the movie/TV geek community. Yet, in reality, the Golden Globe-winning actor - responsible for bringing sharp-witted Tyrion Lannister to life on the HBO fantasy series - has been making a name for himself for more than a decade now, between leading turns in indie fare like The Station Agent and scene-stealing appearances in films like Elf and both versions of Death at a Funeral (not to mention, his previous memorable supporting roles on TV shows like Threshold and Nip/Tuck).
Paramount has acquired a comedy vehicle with Dinklage attached to star, as will be produced by Disruption Entertainment's Cale Boyter and Mary Parent (Role Models). The original script is slated to be written by Andrew Dodge, who is fresh off making his produced screenwriting debut with Arrest Development actor Jason Bateman's feature-length directorial debut, Bad Words (which premiered to strong reviews at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival).
THR describes the project - with Dinklage lined to portray a man who goes around telling people that he is an actual leprechaun - as being in the vein of Bad Santa, in the sense that it was pitched as being a thoroughly inappropriate raunchy comedy - one that lies "deep in R-rated territory but wrapped around an emotional heart."
The summary from THR indicates that the Dinklage starring vehicle lies in Dodge's wheelhouse as a writer, seeing how Bad Words - starring Bateman as a hyper-articulate man-child who attempts to win a national spelling bee that he lost when he was a kid (via a loophole) - has prompted comparisons to the aforementioned popular Billy Bob Thornton dark comedy. Case in point, Variety's positive review asserts that Bateman's film (and, in turn, Dodge's screenplay) "Essentially [does] for one of America’s great scholastic pastimes what 'Bad Santa' did for Christmas cheer."
Dinklage's ability to handle comedy and drama with equal adeptness is well-established, which makes him all the better choice to play the lead in this new R-Rated comedy (just call it Bad Leprechaun, in lieu of an official title?) as someone cynical, pathetic, conniving and sympathetic all at once.
Similarly, it's nice to see the actor being upgraded to leading man status in a film that more people are likely to see in theaters - again, following years of Dinklage playing memorable supporting roles in projects that span a wide variety of genres, be it the family-friendly 2005 movie version of Lassie, the offbeat modern fairy tale feature Penelope or the upcoming comic book film adaptation X-Men: Days of Future Past (costarring Dinklage as the inventor of the Sentinel program, the ambitious scientist Bolivar Trask).
We'll let you know more about Dinklage's currently-untitled comedy vehicle when we do.