Much like returning to school with your classmates back in the day, when a Christopher Guest film is in session, you can expect a fair amount of his repertory company to be along for the ride. His upcoming Netflix film Mascots is no exception in the respect that most of his usual gang of clowns are secured for the film's artistic lineup. What is new though is that two of the most beloved cast members probably won't be back for this latest round of improvised madness, so we'll do you a solid and break your hearts here and now. If you're a fan of Catherine O'Hara and/or Eugene Levy, this just isn't your day.
The Hollywood Reporter has heard from sources close to the project that O'Hara and Levy – collaborators on every one of Guest's improvised films since Waiting For Guffman - will unfortunately be on the bench for the film's 8th World Mascot Association Championships. While they were part of Guest's last film, 2006's For Your Consideration, the silver lining to news of the pair's absence is that they have a pretty Schitt-y reason for not coming back.
Production on the Pop Network sitcom Schitt's Creek is presumably gearing up for its second season at around the November start date for Mascots, and as luck would have it Catherine O'Hara and Eugene Levy are both co-stars on the show, with Levy also serving as the show's co-creator. Having those duties on their collective plate, the schedule of a full motion picture is obviously not in the cards. That said, it's good to hear that the reasons for O'Hara and Levy's absence in Mascots is due to scheduling conflicts, and not any sort of artistic conflict.
Fear not Christopher Guest fans, as the cast that is returning is still chock full of fan favorite players! Sources have confirmed that discussions are currently underway for Jane Lynch, Parker Posey, John Michael Higgins, and Bob Balaban to all return for Mascots duty. No word has been had on whether fellow collaborators and Spinal Tap band members Michael McKean and Harry Shearer will be returning; nor have any details been mentioned for any sort of Fred Willard involvement at this point. Considering that the project is still in the early days of negotiations, we'll be sure to keep an eye out for any further word on their possible involvement.
With Catherine O'Hara and Eugene Levy out of commission for any sort of prominent role in Mascots, there's two factors those keeping a watch on the project should keep in mind. First, the extra space on Guest's roster means that there's room for newcomers to make their debut in one of his movies. One such vacancy has already been filled by Irish comedian, and star of the Guest created HBO series Family Tree, Chris O'Dowd – so already the gap in casting looks to be inspiring some exciting shake ups. Second, and most importantly, the long term involvement of O'Hara and Levy doesn't rule out any sort of possibility for a cameo appearance. So while we won't get a normal sized dose of the hysterically effective comedic duo, we might get a nice concentrated burst of their manic comedy stylings.
Mascots is looking to premiere on Netflix at some point in 2016.