Playing Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory has kept Jim Parsons understandably busy, but when not working on the hit TV show, he's been sneaking in performances in movies and plays. Some of his projects in the former category include Wish I Was Here, Home and a cameo in The Muppets. Now Parsons is gearing up to play Buzzfeed writer Matt Stopera in a movie about the internet phenomenon known as Brother Orange.
Warner Bros and BuzzFeed Motion Pictures have teamed up to make a Brother Orange movie, which Jim Parsons will also produce with his partner Todd Spiewak through their That's Wonderful Productions company. For those unfamiliar with this unusual tale, in 2014, Matt Stopera's iPhone was stolen while he was at a New York bar in early 2014. That smartphone made its way to China, and about a year later, it ended up in the hands of a man who took pictures of himself next to an orange tree. This photos soon popped up on Stopera's photo stream, and the stories he subsequently wrote about the surreal experience went viral in China. Dubbing the man in the photos Li Hongjun, a.k.a. "Brother Orange," users from the Chinese social media site Weibo helped Stopera track the man down, and they eventually met each other in person.
Along with Jim Parsons playing Matt Stopera and producing the project, the movie will also be executive produced by Stopera himself, Broad City's Ilana Glazer (Stopera's roommate), Ellen Degeneres (who had Stopera and Brother Orange on her show after this whole thing went viral) and Jeff Kleeman. As with most "based on a true story"-type movies, presumably Brother Orange will take some liberties with the real life events, but it seems like the spirit of these events will remain intact. THR said that Brother Orange will follow "an unlikely, accidental friendship that transcends cultural divides." That sounds about right. No actor has been tapped to play Li Hongjun yet.
It's safe to say that Jim Parsons will always be best known for playing Sheldon Cooper, the socially awkward genius who has starred in all 10 seasons on The Big Bang Theory. However, Brother Orange appears to be his biggest cinematic project yet, playing the lead character in a movie based off an actual event that took the internet by storm. In the meantime, Parsons can next be seen in Hidden Figures alongside Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner and Kirsten Dunst, among others. Many of you have also undoubtedly seen him trying to sell Intel products in commercials on TV or in front of YouTube videos.
Brother Orange hasn't been assigned a release date yet, but we'll keep you updated on its progress as more relevant news comes in.