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Comedians often want to be action heroes, and traditional action stars often try too hard to be funny. Which helps explain why Will Ferrell frequently targets projects that allow him to fire a gun or chase down a bad guy… and he might have just picked up his latest effort in that genre.
Columbia Pictures has picked up a pitch called The Yank, which the studio is eyeing as a potential starring vehicle for the Anchorman star, according to Variety. If the movie is to pan out, Will Ferrell would play an innocent insurance courier who bumbles into a grand conspiracy to steal the Crown Jewels from their display in London. The trade says that Steve Pink (who penned High Fidelity and Grosse Pointe Blank) will share screenwriting duties with Jeff Morris. The comedy will be produced by Ferrell’s shingle, Gary Sanchez Productions.
As noted, this isn’t Will Ferrell’s first brush with the action-comedy mixture. As Federal Wildlife Marshal Willenholly, he methodically tracked down the thieving members of the C.L.I.T. in Kevin Smith’s Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
And he took his skills to the streets when he teamed up with bona-fide action superstar Mark Wahlberg for the cops-and-criminals comedy The Other Guys, directed by his usual collaborator, Adam McKay:
The big question regarding The Yank is when Will Ferrell would have the time to fit it into his busy schedule. Pink and Morris need to buckle down and crank out a shootable screenplay. But Ferrell has a full plate of potential projects. He’s currently hard at work filming yet another buddy comedy, Get Hard, with red-hot comedian Kevin Hart. In that one, Ferrell plays a millionaire who needs to prepare for a stint in jail, and turns to Hart’s character to help him learn what to expect.
After that, Ferrell is expected to reunite with John C. Reilly for Border Guards, then begin filming Daddy’s Home, a comedy he’s prepping with Get Hard director Etan Cohen that will co-star Vince Vaughn as rival lovers of an as-yet-to-be-cast female comedian. So it sounds like Will Ferrell will be plenty busy with original projects for the coming years, and at least one of them likely will take him across the "pond" for a London shoot… or to New Orleans, which will be dressed up to look like Great Britain, at half the cost!