Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Two of TV's biggest stars are hoping to find magic on the big screen. Variety reports that Steve Carell ("The Office") and Tina Fey ("30 Rock") will play a married couple looking to rekindle their relationship in 20th Century Fox's new comedy "Date Night."
To be fair, both Carell and Fey have very successful movie careers, but there is something intriguing about two of NBC's most recognizable comedy stars teaming up for the first time (in a movie for a competing studio, no less!). In fact, both actors have solidified their box office credentials in the past few months. Carell's "Get Smart" became his third $100 million grossing film and fifth consecutive hit (and bizarrely he gets no credit in the media for it). At the same time, Fey showed she can draw them into theaters with "Baby Mama," her first cinematic leading role and a pleasant $60 million surprise for Universal this April.
As for "Date Night," director Shawn Levy ("Night at the Museum") told the trade that the movie will be a "relatable, grounded character comedy about marriage and the lengths we go to preserve the spark." Considering Carell's wizardry at improv and Fey's Emmy-winning writing skills, you have to figure Levy will have a lot of help in fashioning a believable and entertaining scenario. Production on "Date Night" should begin next spring, but shooting will be admittedly tricky with having to schedule during hiatuses of "The Office" and "30 Rock." But there seem to be no concerns at the moment about making it work.
After a busy few years, Carell used this "Office" break to take a real vacation. Fey, on the other hand, teamed up with Ricky Gervais, star and co-creator of the original, British "The Office," for the comedy "This Side of the Truth." Levy is currently in production on "Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian." Needless to say, their involvement in "Date Night" makes this one flick to watch out for.
Next column: The fourth annual Oscar in August rundown (yes, it's that time again!); a sneak peek at "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa"; and more.