In a bit of a bidding battle, 20th Century Fox has acquired the Soviet spy thriller Cold Comfort for Marc Webb to direct. Deadline reports that plenty of other studios and directors were in the mix given that the material lends itself to a strong comedic performance for a lead actor in the vein of Jonah Hill, and Fox will develop the property as a directing vehicle for Webb, who will also produce. The pic is an adaptation of the upcoming novel Cold Comfort (aka How to Catch a Russian Spy) by columnist Ellis Henican and follows an American civilian who convinced the FBI to allow him to help bring down a Russian agent on American soil. Hit the jump for more on when Webb might be able to tackle the material.
Webb most recently directed The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and he was just confirmed as the director of The Amazing Spider-Man 3, so it will likely be some time before this project actually comes to fruition. Spidey 3 is expected to go into production later this year for a 2016 release date, making 2016 the earliest Webb could start filming Cold Comfort. In fact, since his feature debut (500) Days of Summer in 2009, Webb has exclusively directed Spider-Man films, so I’m interested to what he cooks up once he departs the Sony franchise. He has a penchant for relationship stories—the Peter/Gwen scenes in The Amazing Spider-Man are easily the best part of the film—so this kind of comedic spy story could make good use of his strong hold on character and experience with set pieces.