Zachary Levi is set to star in The Lonely Island's forthcoming action-comedy, Spy Guys. Consisting of Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone, The Lonely Island first found fame as part of the Saturday Night Live lineup but would garner international acclaim thanks to their string of viral music videos. The likes of "Jizz In My Pants" and "Jack Sparrow" became instant hits on YouTube and social media, and The Lonely Island went on to work with an array of A-list talent from the worlds of acting and music, including Justin Timberlake, Natalie Portman, Michael Bolton and Adam Levine. In more recent years, the trio have moved onto the big screen, with their mockumentary, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping and Netflix special, The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience, was released last month.
Spy Guys centers on a stereotypical, heroic espionage expert who is forced to turn to his old college buddies for help on a particularly troublesome mission. The Lonely Island's Andy Samberg, who has since found wider fame on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, was originally lined up to star, with Taccone potentially directing, but the trio will now take on the role of producers on the project. Jeff Tomsic (Tag) has been tapped as director and the script comes from Adam Sztykiel (Due Date, We're The Millers 2).
As reported by Deadline, Zachary Levi is in negotiations with New Line to take on Spy Guys' starring role. The report claims that New Line, who recently worked with Levi on recent DC superhero venture, Shazam, wish to capitalize on the actor's growing profile before moving him on to a Shazam sequel.
Shazam was a modest success at the box office and proved to be a hit with fans and critics. The latest DC offering was a distinctly lighter take on the superhero genre, merging the usual plethora of fist fights and superpowers with a hefty dose of Big-esque comedy shenanigans. Levi in particular attracted plenty of acclaim in the role and proved he could not only front a major Hollywood movie, but demonstrated his affinity for comedy-action fare, thus making him an obvious pick to star in Spy Guys.
There has been no shortage of spy-based comedy films over the past two decades, from classics such as Austin Powers to the more recent Johnny English franchise. As such, many of the fish-out-of-water-spy gags have started to feel tired, but this is where The Lonely Island could prove vital. The trio's unique brand of humor should add a new dimension to the spy parody sub-genre and Popstar proved the boys know how to poke fun at a topic in a way that almost oversteps the line.
Spy Guys is currently without a release date. More news as it arrives.