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Low Winter Sun was a disaster. Not only was it an unmitigated, forced, and costly mistake at the hands of the AMC Network, it has also been an unfortunate stain on the career of its lead: the otherwise awesome Mark Strong. For an actor who's heyday seems to still be raging on, he's had an impressive range of roles and projects. Comic book movies, a couple of Ridley Scott pictures and even a voice-acting gig in an English dub for a Hayao Miyazaki picture have all have fallen under the umbrella of the commanding English performer. Now it looks like he's adding even more variety to his resume with a role that might bring him back up a couple of notches: he's going to play Sacha Baron Cohen's big brother.
Deadline reports that Strong has signed on for a role in Grimsby, a film in which he'll star as one of Britain's best covert operatives. Chaos and hilarity should ensue though, as his younger brother (played by Baron Cohen) is a rather dull football hooligan (Think Hot Fuzz meets Johnny English). In addition to co-starring duties, Sacha Baron-Cohen is credited as a co-writer, as well as a producer on the project, which should move things along rather smoothly into the production phase.
Mark Strong could use an opportunity to rebound from the failure that was his small screen starring vehicle, and in this sort of situation a comedy success is one of the better ways out of the doghouse - especially if this film holds even the slightest potential for the success of titles like Borat, or even Tallageda Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby. We've seen Strong play some serious leads, so playing the straight man to his co-star's antics should be a piece of cake. He's done it before alongside Colin Firth in the original version of Fever Pitch, and there's video to prove it.
Come to think of it, this might even be a good time to bring Will Ferrell in on the fun, even if it's in a short cameo role. His production schedule for the recently announced project, The Yank, might overlap in terms of scheduling and would definitely overlap in terms of locations. It'd be a crime for Sony to not try and have two of their biggest stars in the same movie(s), and this could create a bigger comeback wave for Strong to surf into safety.
For now, Mark Strong's got the comic book flick The Secret Service and possible awards contender The Imitation Game on his slate., while Sacha Baron-Cohen only has Through The Looking Glass, the Alice in Wonderland<.em> sequel, coming up.