Denis Leary Joins Horror Comedy The Kitchen Sink, Vanessa Hudgens In Talks

Sony’s upcoming horror comedy The Kitchen Sink hasn’t really been living up to its title in the casting department, but that tide appears to be turning as two known names are now attached to the project. Comedian Denis Leary has definitely signed on, The Wrap reports, while Disney-gone-Harmony Korine actress Vanessa Hudgens is in early talks to sign on. What good is a horror comedy without comedy and sex appeal, right?

Kitchen Sink, which has seen a good number of Zombieland comparisons in terms of tone, is based on a 2010 Black List script written by very busy screenwriter Oren Uziel, and begins with an full-scale alien invasion in a small town. In order to take down the alien threat, a group of the town’s citizens team up with zombies and vampires. Leary is set to play one of the most affluent and intelligent people in town - though it seems he might not have the most palatable personality. Should she take the part, Hudgens would play – you guessed it – a popular teenager in danger. I’m sure there are layers to the character, though I doubt those layers will be made of clothing.

Robbie Pickering, who gave Rachael Harris a chance to blow people away with 2011’s Natural Selection, will be directing this monster mash-up, which also stars Nicholas Braun (The Perks of Being a Wallflower), Mackenzie Davis (Smashed), Josh Fadem (Awful Nice), and Chris Zylka, who starred as Flash Thompson in The Amazing Spider-Man, which also starred Leary.

While this is a pretty solid set of actors, there doesn't appear to be an A-list star to anchor this thing. Leary is perfect for leading a TV show, but his film career isn’t filled with meaty roles, and it sounds like he’ll just be playing the guy that people want to use for his money and brains. Plus, I'm completely burnt out on horror films with plots driven by the actions of teenage girls, so if the Vanessa Hudgens character ends up being the main role, I'll anticipate the film that much less. That said, I haven't read the script, and Pickering's work gives me no specific expectations. The upcoming drama Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, which he wrote the script for and centers on a grief-stricken man who befriends a young girl, certainly doesn't fit him into a stereotype.

Leary is still making money playing Diego the saber-toothed tiger in the Ice Age films, and is also attached to star in Ivan Reitman’s upcoming football comedy Draft Day. IMDb lists him as part of the cast for Marc Webb's upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but given what happened to his character in the last movie it's hard to say how he will fit into the sequel (if he is indeed part of the cast).

Hudgens, who continued to kick her “Disney cutesy pie” image in the teeth with this year’s Spring Breakers, is taking it further with Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills, which will be out later this year. She’ll also soon be seen escaping John Cusack’s serial killer in the upcoming thriller The Frozen Ground, and will switch up her appearance in the drama Gimme Shelter, in which she will play a pregnant teen who runs away from home.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.