What do you get when you take two prize-winning humorists and add in one of Hollywood’s leading comedic actors? Apparently, you get Lunatics, the Universal Pictures adaptation of the Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel novel of the same name. Steve Carell will star as one of two soccer dads whose conflict with each other grows into a series of escalating events until both of them are sent running for their lives.
Barry, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, is most famous for his long-running syndicated humor column in The Miami Herald. Zweibel is an Emmy-winning writer behind such TV series as Saturday Night Live and Late Show with David Letterman. Carell, of course, is one of the most sought after actors today, having left The Office to pursue his lucrative movie career. Hit the jump for more on Lunatics.
News of Carell’s casting in Lunatics comes via Deadline. Carell will play Philip Horkman, a pet shop owner and weekend soccer ref. The plot calls for him to run into the character, Jeffrey Peckerman, an out-of-control soccer dad who is the catalyst for the duo’s misadventures. The role of Peckerman has not yet been cast.
Carell has a host of movies lined up for the next few years, including Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Foxcatcher, Dogs of Babel, Burt Wonderstone and Despicable Me 2. Zweibel is currently penning an HBO comedy pilot for Penny Marshall (Laverne & Shirley). The film will be produced by Scott Stuber and Pam Abdy of Stuber Pictures, as well as Carell and his partners at Carousel, Vance DeGeneres and Charlie Hartsock.
Check out the synopsis of the Barry/Zweibel novel below, which is due for publication in January:
One of them is a bestselling Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist. The other is a winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor. Together, they form the League of Comic Justice, battling evildoers in the name of . . . Okay, we made that line up. What they do form is a writing team of pure comic genius, and they will have you laughing like idiots.
Philip Horkman is a happy man-the owner of a pet store called The Wine Shop, and on Sundays a referee for kids’ soccer. Jeffrey Peckerman is the sole sane person in a world filled with goddamned jerks and morons, and he’s having a really bad day. The two of them are about to collide in a swiftly escalating series of events that will send them running for their lives, pursued by the police, soldiers, terrorists, subversives, bears, and a man dressed as Chuck E. Cheese.
Where that all takes them you can’t begin to guess, but the literary journey there is a masterpiece of inspiration and mayhem. But what else would you expect from the League of Comic Justice? [Amazon]