Fresh off the considerable box-office take of his Spanish-language spaghetti western, “Casa Di Mi Padre,” director Matt Piedmont is bringing star Will Ferrell along again as producer for his follow-up, “King Dork,” as well as another person tasting success, actor Thomas Mann.
Mann, who played the birthday boy at the center of the “Project X” storm, has been catapulted by the film’s success into numerous upcoming projects, including the Emmy Rossum-starring “Beautiful Creatures,” but now finds himself headlining “King Dork,” adapted by D.V. DeVincentis from the 2006 novel by Frank Portman. The film follows “best friends Tom and Sam, two outsiders who bond over their shared love of classic rock and roll, which helps them cope with the agony of getting through high school in 1987.” Mann will play Tom, while Keir Gilchrist (last prominently seen in “United States of Tara” and “It’s Kind of a Funny Story”) is being considered for the role of Sam. Nick Offerman (“Parks and Recreation“), who also appeared in “Casa Di Mi Padre,” will portray Tom’s stepdad.
Peculiarly, “King Dork” was actually the first project acquired by the production company NALA Films, but the script shifted from Paramount Vantage to Sony, then was recovered from turnaround and revived afterwards. Adam McKay and Will Ferrell have been supportive to the project, helping to finance it from their company Gary Sanchez, and it is extremely likely that Ferrell himself will take a part in the film. McKay has also spoken about the film, describing it as “about that moment when you go from the confines of your room with your music, to venturing out in the world with fantasies of rock stardom.”
While some found the scattershot nature of ‘Casa’ to be distracting and unengaging with its straight-faced manner of lovingly-rendered parody, the period setting of “King Dork” and the musical subject matter is clearly close to the creative team’s heart, and so should result in a more humanistic edge to the comedy in the final film.