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Ken Jeong & ‘Ugly Betty’ Star Tony Plana Join Michael Bay’s ‘Pain And Gain’

Ken Jeong & 'Ugly Betty' Star Tony Plana Join Michael Bay's 'Pain And Gain'

Well if the cast of “Transformers” helmer Michael Bay’s low-budget (in Bay terms) dark comedy “Pain and Gain” isn’t the most eclectic ensemble of talent he’s ever assembled, it’s certainly the best he’s done in years.

The cast already boasts two blockbuster action stars in Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson in this true story of two Miami Beach bodybuilders who kidnapped, robbed, and left for dead a wealthy Florida businessman. That businessman will be played by veteran character actor Tony Shaloub, who will also be joined by Ed Harris, Rob Corddry, Anthony Mackie and “Bridesmaids” scene stealer Rebel Wilson. Well, now Bay has added two more to this admittedly fine assortment of players that certainly ups our interest even more in this project.

The Hangover” and “Community” star Ken Jeong is set to join the Paramount film as the character of Johnny Wu, with “Ugly Betty” actor Tony Plana joining (okay, he did last month, but it fell off our radar) the fold as Captain Al Lopez of the Miami Police Department. Details on Jeong’s role are being kept under wraps while it’s reported that Plana will be hot on the trail of Wahlberg and Johnson as he plays a captain who is urged by his old friend, private detective Ed Du Bois (Ed Harris), who begins to look further into the kidnapping and murder following his friend’s suggestion. We’re hoping Jeong’s performance steers clear of the stereotypical and obnoxious work he and Bay did together in “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” but we’re sure Plana will fit just comfortably into this sort of work even if it is Bay-ified. This writer has hope for the project to tonally harken back to the days of fun Michael Bay actioners like “Bad Boys” and “The Rock,” especially with this sort of talent assembled.

We’ll have to wait and see, with “Pain and Gain” currently in front of cameras in Miami, with a 2013 release date on the cards. [THR/Variety]

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