Most comedians, once they’re anointed stars, use their newfound fame to sign on to seemingly dozens of projects, reaching a kind of overexposure in speedy time. After the success of “The 40 Year Old Virgin,” it seemed as though Steve Carell was heading that way, with the likes of “Evan Almighty” and “Get Smart,” roles that could have been filled by any comic star, clogging up his big screen appearances. But to his credit, now that he’s freeing up his schedule by departing “The Office” last week, he’s taking on more interesting roles — the excellent-looking comedy “Crazy, Stupid, Love” lands this summer, and he’s got more dramatic projects like “Great Hope Springs,” opposite Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, and the oddity “Dogs of Babel” on his slate alongside more straightforward fare like “Burt Wonderstone.”
And before any of those, he’s going to start filming on the independent comedy-drama “Seeking A Friend At The End of the World.” The directorial debut of Lorene Scafaria, the writer of “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist,” the project sees Carell opposite Keira Knightley, as two neighbors who connect on a road trip against the imminent extinction of mankind, thanks to an asteroid. Intriguing, no? And the pair have now, according to Variety, been joined by a trio of promising performers that bode equally well for the film.
The trade reports that William Petersen, Adam Brody and Rob Corddry are in negotiations to join the film in unknown roles. Petersen, of course, was something of a star in the 1980s, thanks to the likes of “To Live and Die In L.A.” and “Manhunter,” who found a new lease on life in his career as Gil Grissom on “C.S.I.” The actor left the show a few years back, but hasn’t jumped straight back into the movie world, aside from a somewhat thankless role in Tony Kaye‘s “Detachment” — the actor’s always been picky, so it hopefully bodes well that he’s decided to make an appearance here.
We’re fans of both Brody and Corddry as well. The former looked to be a breakout star after teen drama hit “The O.C,” but a series of bad choices has meant he’s never quite managed it. But he’s on the comeback trail now, cropping up in “Scream 4” and, far more excitingly, taking the male lead in Walt Whitman‘s “Damsels in Distress,” and recently signed to star alongside Susan Sarandon in Rosanna Arquette‘s “Hemlock Drive.” Cordrry’s faring better, proving the main highlight of last year’s “Hot Tub Time Machine,” and cropping up in the likes of “Cedar Rapids” and the upcoming “Butter,” as well as turning his Adult Swim series “Children’s Hospital” into a cult hit.
Writer-director Scafaria, who’s part of Diablo Cody‘s clique, has worked on that show, which is presumably how Corddry came on board. All in all, it’s a promising cast, with a premise reminiscent of Don McKellar‘s terminally undervalued “Last Night,” so we’re excited to see how things turn out, even if the subject matter could be a veritable minefield of clashing tones. Mandate and Indian Paintbrush are backing the project, which will go before cameras before the end of the month, meaning we could theoretically see this as soon as Sundance 2012 (although it would mean a tight turnaround).