Mark Wahlberg seems to be becoming quite fond of the comedy genre. He’s got a promising turn in Seth MacFarlane’s upcoming R-rated comedy Ted and he’s currently filming Michael Bay’s black comedy Pain and Gain, and now Deadline reports that he’s in talks to star in the long-gestating laugher Avon Man. The project was previously set up with Hugh Jackman starring and Kevin Lima (Enchanted) directing, but that iteration fell apart when Jackman left to do The Wolverine (which was eventually pushed back when Darren Aronofsky dropped out). Now Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson are coming aboard the project as producers to develop it as a starring vehicle for Wahlberg, but Lima is no longer attached to direct.
The story kicks off with a group of guys who are laid off from an auto dealership. One of them (Wahlberg) reluctantly becomes an Avon salesman and, when his charm brings him great success in the Avon world, convinces his macho unemployed buddies to join him. Michael McCullers (Baby Mama) will write a new draft of the script. When Wahlberg’s given the right comedic material he shines, so hopefully Avon Man plays to his strengths.
Earlier today, we reported that Olivia Wilde and Alicia Silverstone had joined the cast of the political satire Butter. Variety now reports that Hugh Jackman is also on board to co-star in the film which begins shooting this month. The actor was scheduled to shoot the comedy Avon Man this month in Atlanta but Production Weekly reports [via The Playlist] that the offices for that film have been shut down.
The comedy, directed by Jim Field Smith (She’s Out of My League), is based on the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary except instead of running for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States, it’s about a competition to win the title of local butter-carving champion. Jennifer Garner plays an ambitious Midwestern woman whose filandering husband (Ty Burrell) previously won the title. The main competitor of Garner’s character is a teenage African-American girl (Yara Shahidi). The cast also includes Ashley Greene (Twilight) and Rob Corddry (Hot Tub Time Machine. Jason Micallef’s script for the film landed on last year’s Black List, which is the list of the best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood. Jackman will play an old flame of Garner’s character.
Hit the jump for the official press release.
After directing 2007′s highly-acclaimed Enchanted, Kevin Lima has finally settled on his next project. ProductionWeekly reports that Lima will direct Hugh Jackman in the comedy Avon Man. 20th Century Fox picked up Kevin Bisch’s pitch back in July with Variety reporting the following synopsis:
Story follows men laid off from an auto dealership. One is reluctantly recruited into becoming an Avon salesman, and while the experience is initially emasculating, he uses his charm and good looks to become a top seller. The comedy takes on a “Full Monty” vibe when the car salesman sets out to save his financially strapped family and town by conscripting his buddies into the makeup business to win a regional contest.
Lima has also been attached to several projects including The Incredible Mr. Limpet, Tom Thumb, The Spook’s Apprentice, and Frank, all of which fall around the light-hearted comedy realm. PW reports that filming on Avon Man is set to begin this April in Atlanta.