The chances that the Farrelly brothers deliver something funny with their latest flick, Hall Pass, keep increasing as they add seriously funny people to the cast.
With shooting set to start Tuesday in Atlanta, the brothers have added to a cast that already included Owen Wilson, Jenna Fischer and Jason Sudeikis two names that will be very familiar to anyone who watches HBO: Stephen Merchant and J.B. Smoove. Merchant, of course, is Ricky Gervais’ main partner in comical crime and most visibly played his incredibly incompetent agent on Extras. And Smoove played Larry David’s extremely unlikely brother-in-law, one of “the Blacks,” on Curb Your Enthusiasm.
As for the movie itself, it’s about a pair of married couples who decide to experiment with a free pass for the husbands to engage in guilt-free romantic encounters. Wilson and Sudeikis are the two lucky guys, and Merchant and Smoove will play two of their buddies. Do funny people automatically lead to funny movies? Of course not, but here’s hoping that’s the case here. Hit the jump to find out what else Merchant and Smoove are up to on screens big and small.
If you have HBO now, you can see Stephen Merchant on The Ricky Gervais Show, essentially an animated version of the podcasts the duo made with sidekick Karl Pilkington, who turns out to be at least as funny (and even stranger) than the main duo. I can’t imagine too many of you bothered to see The Tooth Fairy, but he apparently appeared in that The Rock movie, too.
Gervais and Merchant have co-written and co-directed Cemetery Junction, a period piece about young men selling insurance in Reading, England, in the ’70s. Gervais and Ralph Fiennes will co-star in that one, set to come out April 14 in the UK. And after that he’ll appear in John Landis’ Burke and Hare, filming now with Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis in the lead roles as two 19th century grave robbers who find a lucrative side gig providing cadavers to an Edinburgh medical school.
Smoove, who went toe to toe and often won his matches of wit with Larry David as Leon on Curb Your Enthusiasm, will next appear as “the Cabbie” in Date Night, starring Tina Fey and Steve Carell and set to come out April 6.