Exactly a month ago today we were talking about James Franco taking the lead role in “The Game,” the latest project from the writing and directing pair Brian Koppelman and David Levein (who also penned “Ocean’s Thirteen” and “The Girlfriend Experience” for Steven Soderbergh). The film will be based on Neil Strauss‘ autobiographical bestseller which follows the author’s experiences infiltrating the guys club world of pick-up artists. Franco will play Mystery, a sexual guru who teaches others how to transform from nerd to stud and use secret techniques to pick up women.
Deadline now reports that the man in negotiations to undergo that transformation from nerd to stud is “Book of Mormon” star Josh Gad. For those unfamiliar with Gad’s work on Broadway, he’s probably best known on the big screen for his role in “Love and Other Drugs” — in which his character is caught jerking off to a video of his brother nailing Anne Hathaway — and supporting roles in “21” and “The Rocker.” Gad will play the role of the book’s author, Neil Strauss, a Rolling Stone journalist whose life changes when he goes undercover.
This sounds to us like it has elements of the better parts of “Crazy Stupid Love,” “Almost Famous,” and the Tom Cruise segment of “Magnolia,” and none of those elements are to be scoffed at. We were already pretty interested by the concept and the talent involved, and Gad coming aboard has done nothing to quell that interest. Only time will tell though as to whether any of the pick-up techniques in “The Game” can rival the D.E.N.N.I.S. System…somehow we think not.