Timothy Simons and Matt Walsh have spent years earning laughs together on the small screen, both key members of the brilliant comedic ensemble starring in the HBO series Veep, but now they will be bringing their talents to the world of features. They've collaborated on a new football comedy script called Red Shirt, and now that screenplay is going to be turned into a movie by Paramount Pictures.
Variety has the scoop of not only the studio pickup, but also that Ben Stiller's Red Hour Films is on board producing the movie as well. For now, any and all plot details are being kept a secret, though it has been confirmed that the story will be set in the world of college football (sorry, Star Trek fans, this isn't about doomed Enterprise crew members). Red Shirt will be the first feature written by Simons, though Walsh has a number of scripts on his resume (he last wrote and directed the 2014 comedy A Better You).
For those who aren't familiar with the world of college athletics, "Red Shirt" is a reference to a strategy employed by many universities that allow them to suspend an athlete's participation on a team as a means of extending their eligibility to play. The idea is that a player will attend classes, go to practices, and dress for games, but will not actually play. This can be helpful for schools when a student athlete has an injury, can't balance academics and extracurricular activities, or needs more time to practice. Exactly how Timothy Simons and Matt Walsh will turn this into a comedic premise isn't immediately obvious, but it's easy to trust their comedic sensibilities.
Both actors have worked for three years together on Veep, with Walsh starring as nervous Press Secretary Mike McLintock, and Simons as White House aide/complete douchebag Jonah Ryan. On the series, the two men have a very contentious relationship, with McLintock regularly making fun of Ryan and calling him all kinds of creative nicknames - but it seems the two have a friendlier relationship behind the scenes, and hopefully it will lead to the creation of a great screenwriting team.
Acting-wise, Matt Walsh is currently in production on Paul Feig's Ghostbusters - which is filming in Boston - while Timothy Simons will next be seen in Rob Letterman's Goosebumps, which will be out in theaters this October.
As you might imagine, Red Shirt is still very much in the early stages - so it may be a little while before we hear an update on when we'll actually get to see what the whole thing is all about. As always, be sure to stay tuned for more details, as this sounds like it could be a project to look forward to.