Winning an Oscar Sunday night for Best Adapted Screenplay, for an acclaimed film directed by Alexander Payne and starring ultimate modern movie star George Clooney, probably sounds a lot better in meetings than being the two guys who play outrageous character parts on shows like “Community” and “Party Down.” As much as we appreciate Jim Rash’s role as Dean Pelton, along with his frequently hilarious writing partner Nat Faxon’s appearance in Broken Lizard comedies, something about being fresh off an Oscar win for adapting “The Descendants” for the big screen has done wonders for both gentlemen’s careers.
First up, Variety has word that Faxon and Rash have sold an untitled action-comedy to production house Indian Paintbrush, with none other than “Bridesmaids” star Kristen Wiig attached to lead. While Wiig’s deal is being negotiated, Faxon and Rash are also set to executive produce the feature, with the trio having formed a previous relationship working as part of Los Angeles’ comedy troupe The Groundlings. No details yet on the movie, but it looks like Faxon and Rash will be busy for quite a while, as word has it they are writing a second script for “The Descendants” distributor Fox Searchlight and director Alexander Payne. Faxon and Rash are also set to make their joint directorial debut this summer, helming the feature based on their Black List-approved script “The Way, Way Back.” That project originally had Jake Gyllenhaal circling the lead role, in a story of a young boy who gains the strength to stand up to his stepfather and reconnect with his mother, all after forming a powerful and lasting friendship. Looks like Gyllenhaal is out though, with the trade saying Sam Rockwell and “Juno” actress Allison Janney are set to star. Sounds like things are going to be quite busy for these two, but that’s not all.
Faxon will also be continuing his hot streak solo, as Deadline reports he's joining as the lead in Fox’s comedy pilot “Ned Fox Is My Manny,” starring opposite “Saturday Night Live” and “No Strings Attached” actress Abby Elliott. Helmed by “Bad Teacher” director Jake Kasdan, with a script by Dana Fox, 'Ned Fox' is set to center on overbearing single mother Kate (Elliott), whose directionless older sibling Ned (Faxon) moves into her house to help raise her only daughter (Maggie Jones). It may not sound as promising as the other projects, mostly because its premise alone reeks of a dozen sitcoms we’ve seen before, but perhaps all involved will put a nice comedic spin on it.
From the looks of their previous body work, and their charming acceptance speech Sunday night alongside Payne, all these budding projects seem like they couldn’t happen to a better pair of talents. Though after the more serious, but still funny and engaging tone of “The Descendants,” it’ll be interesting to see where they go with a straightforward action comedy. We’ll be curious to find out, as we’re certain these two will be behind many projects worth keeping an eye on.