Russell Brand has quickly found himself becoming a comedy stalwart in Hollywood after debuting in 2008’s “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” but it sounds like the sometimes controversial figure is already eyeing bigger and better things,as he reveals his ambition to move behind the camera.
“They’re both comedy vehicles and I really want to direct them because I think it’s a good way, as a comedian, to showcase what you do,” Brand told AP regarding one project “about an English footballer stranded in Texas having to teach at a Texan high school where no one cares about soccer” and another, an Adam Sandler-produced tale about a con-man who poses as a priest.
The first project is actually one that has been kicking around a while. Last year, Warner Bros. dropped between $6 and $7 million on a pitch by William and Scott Bindley for a vehicle for Brand that would revolve around “a David Beckham-like millionaire soccer star/playboy who gets arrested in West Texas and sentenced to community service. His task: coach the hapless local high school soccer team in a ‘Friday Night Lights‘ town.” So it sounds like Brand really wants to put his stamp on that one. As for the Sandler-produced vehicle, it seems to be a newer project.
Whether the Brit would be given the creative authority of directing his own starring vehicle remains to be seen — frankly, we doubt it — but having grossed them $105M and $91M with ‘Sarah Marshall’ and “Get Him To The Greek” respectively, Brand’s seems to have some box office draw. And with two films due out in the next two weeks in comedy remake “Arthur” and Easter-themed animated feature “Hop,” he will have another couple of chances to prove his clout.
Brand’s not short of other projects though, with, most immediately, a role in Adam Shankman‘s next film reportedly in the works. He’s also been long linked to the lead role in a remake of “Drop Dead Fred,” is attached to star in an action-comedy based on 14th century mercenary John Hawkswood as well as a film adaptation of British TV comedy “Rentaghost” and will of course feature in the documentary about himself being made by Oliver Stone and Albert Maysles.