Aziz Ansari and Danny McBride to Co-Star in Untitled Comedy

     May 10, 2010

Two comedic actors best known for supporting film roles and television work are teaming up to co-star on the big screen. Aziz Ansari (Funny People) and Danny McBride (Eastbound & Down) are set to co-star in an untitled comedy written by Parks and Recreations writer Harris Wittles from an original idea by Anzari and 30 Rock writer Matt Hubbard.

The plot is being kept under wraps, however, considering it’s being produced by Ansari, McBride, Wittles as well as David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express), Jody Hill (Observe & Report) and others, the film has quite the comedy pedigree behind it. It’ll be the second under a deal between Rough House (McBride, Green and Hill’s new production company) and Mandate Pictures.

Hit the jump to read about what each of the principals has coming up before this mysterious comedy sees the light of day.

Before shooting on this untitled comedy starts, Ansari and McBride are co-starring in 30 Minutes or Less, directed by Ruben Fleisher (Zombieland) which is currently in pre-production to be released by Columbia. Ansari will also appear in Get Him To the Greek, as the host of the MTV Movie Awards and all over Twitter bashing his cousins Harris and Darwish.

McBride is currently prepping the second season of HBO’s Eastbound & Down and will appear in the medieval-fanasy comedy Your Highness along with James Franco and Natalie Portman (directed by Green). He’s also scheduled to star in L.A.P.I. with Hill at some point.

Basically, these guys are pretty damn busy trying to make us laugh. And since there’s nothing funnier than Ansari as Raaaaaaaandy or Kenny Powers, here’s hoping they keep succeeding.

Here’s the official press release:





Los Angeles (May 10, 2010) –Mandate Pictures announced today that the company has acquired an untitled comedy pitch based on an idea by Aziz Ansari and Emmy Award-winning “30 Rock” writer Matt Hubbard, to be produced by Rough House Pictures. The feature length comedy will be written by Harris Wittels (“Parks & Recreation”).  Ansari (FUNNY PEOPLE, I LOVE YOU MAN) and Danny McBride (UP IN THE AIR, PINEAPPLE EXPRESS) are attached to star in the untitled comedy.   Principals Danny McBride, David Gordon Green, Jody Hill and Matt Reilly will produce through their Rough House banner.  Aziz Ansari and Mandate President Nathan Kahane will executive produce. Matt Hubbard will serve as a co-producer. Lawrence Grey will oversee the project for Mandate.  Details of the plot are being kept under wraps.

The untitled comedy is the second project to begin development under the Rough House deal with Mandate Pictures since it was formed in December 2009 by David Gordon Green, Jody Hill and Danny McBride as a co-venture looking to produce high concept comedies with their brand of humor.  Combining their creative filmmaking with Mandate’s financing and producing expertise, the company is establishing itself as a hub for exciting and bold comedic voices.

Ansari and McBride are also working together on 30 MINUTES OR LESS, the Ruben Fleisher comedy that is currently in pre-production and will be distributed by Columbia Pictures. ‘30 MINUTES’ is written by Michael Diliberti and Matthew Sullivan, who are also collaborating with Rough House and Mandate on the action-comedy L.A.P.I.

Actor/comedian Aziz Ansari is about to embark on a major multi-city standup tour this summer. Ansari, who currently stars opposite Amy Poehler on NBC’s critically acclaimed “Parks and Recreation” (which was recently renewed for a third season), will bring his “Dangerously Delicious Tour” to various cities from June through September. Ansari has established himself as one of the biggest names in comedy. Entertainment Weekly recently named him one of the top 12 “Future Stars of Comedy,” and separately one of 2009’s Breakout TV Stars. Paste Magazine named him one of the Top 10 Comedians of the Decade. Additionally, Ansari will appear in GET HIM TO THE GREEK this summer and had roles in the hit films FUNNY PEOPLE, I LOVE YOU MAN and OBSERVE AND REPORT (directed by Jody Hill).  Ansari first rose to fame on television as a member of MTV’s “Human Giant.” He will be hosting the 19th annual MTV Movie Awards on June 6, 2010.

Danny McBride stars alongside James Franco and Natalie Portman in David Gordon Green’s film YOUR HIGHNESS, which is slated for an October 2010 release by Universal Pictures. McBride is currently in production on the second season of HBO’s “East Bound and Down,” which he and Jody Hill co-created, co-write and produce together.  Jody Hill directed the pilot and final episode of the first season.  David Gordon Green has also directed episodes.  Danny McBride recently co-starred in Jason Reitman’s Academy Award® nominated film UP IN THE AIR.  He has appeared in other major theatrical comedies including PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, TROPIC THUNDER, and THE FOOT FIST WAY.

Within a year of graduating from Emerson College in 2006, Harris Wittels became a staff-writer on Comedy Central’s “The Sarah Silverman Program.” He currently writes on NBC’s hit series “Parks and Recreation.” He has also written on MTV’s “Human Giant” and the MTV Video and Music award shows.   Wittels has performed stand-up comedy on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” as well as Showtime’s “Live, Nude Comedy.” He has toured regularly with such comics as Sarah Silverman, Louis C.K. and B.J. Novak. Currently, you can catch Harris at the UCB Theatre in Los Angeles where he and comedy partner, Armen Weitzman, host a monthly talk show called “The Badger’s Promise.” Past guests include Jon Hamm, Sarah Silverman, Mindy Kaling, Jeff Garlin and many more.

Aziz Ansari is represented by UTA and 3 Arts Entertainment.  Matt Hubbard is represented by UTA and attorney Ken Richman. Harris Wittels is represented by CAA and 3 Arts Entertainment.  Danny McBride, David Gordon Green, and Jody Hill are represented by CAA and Forefront Media. Dan Freedman brokered the deals on behalf of the companies.


Mandate Pictures has a first-look deal with David Gordon Green, Jody Hill and Danny McBride to produce high concept comedies with their brand of humor.  Combining their creative filmmaking with Mandate’s financing and producing expertise, ROUGH HOUSE PICTURES seeks to establish itself as a hub for exciting and bold comedic voices.  The co-venture will be dedicated to financing, developing and producing feature length comedies. Matt Reilly segued from his post as Vice President of Production at Warner Bros. Pictures to join ROUGH HOUSE as head of production and is a participant in the business.

Jody Hill, David Gordon Green and Danny McBride all went to the North Carolina School of the Arts and lived on the same dormitory floor their first year although Green is one year older.  McBride saw Green’s first short film called Will You Lather Up My Rough House and that was that in terms of his admiration for Green.  McBride was the second unit director on Green’s feature debut George Washington and McBride had a supporting role in Green’s next film All the Real Girls, which won the 2003 Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. McBride first gained industry awareness with this role; however, it was when he returned in 2006 with the Sundance Film Festival smash hit comedy The Foot Fist Way that he became a known name in Hollywood and desired by its top producers and directors. McBride, who starred and co-wrote the film with Jody Hill and Ben Best (Superbad), caught the attention of Will Ferrell and Adam McKay after it debuted at Sundance, under their banner Gary Sanchez Production, and the film was later released by Paramount Vantage. McBride is currently in production on the second season of East Bound and Down, with new shows returning this fall. He and Hill co-created, co-write and produce the series together.  Hill directed the pilot and final episode of the first season.  Green has also directed episodes.  Green’s film Your Highness starring McBride, James Franco and Natalie Portman is slated for an October 2010 release by Universal Pictures.


Mandate Pictures is a multifaceted film production and financing company, acquired in 2007 by Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a leading next generation film entertainment studio.  Mandate continues to operate as an autonomous brand under President Nathan Kahane.  Mandate’s comedy The Switch, starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman, will be released by Miramax Films on August 20th, 2010.  The Untitled Comedy starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Academy-Award® nominated actress Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard, Philip Baker Hall, and Academy-Award® winning actress Anjelica Huston is currently in production.  The comedy, written by Will Reiser inspired by his own battle with cancer at age twenty-five, is directed by Jonathan Levine and produced by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Ben Karlin.  The film will be distributed in North America by Summit Entertainment.

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