By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist September 14, 2011 at 1:16AM
Nicholas Braun Also Joins Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill In Impressive Comic Ensemble
Many directors start off as actors, and even once they've broken through behind the camera, can find it hard to shake the immediate rush you get from pretending in front of a camera. Look at Rob Reiner, who came up through TV sitcoms, put himself in first film "This is Spinal Tap," and still cameos from time to time in the likes of "30 Rock." Or Ron Howard, who for all the middlebrow dramas he's made, made a greater impact as the narrator of "Arrested Development" than with anything else in the last decade.
British helmer Richard Ayoade came up through a similar route, with stage comedy turning into TV roles on cult shows like "The Mighty Boosh," "Garth Marenghi's Darkplace" and "The I.T. Crowd," before he turned to music video direction and, this year, made a storming feature debut with coming-of-age tale "Submarine." Ayoade's working towards his sophomore film, the Dostoyefsky adaptation "The Double," with Jesse Eisenberg, but it looks like he's going to scratch his acting itch again, on a pretty big canvas; namely, a summer blockbuster starring some of the biggest names in comedy.
Variety report that Ayoade has signed on to play the role of 'Jamarcus' in the Fox comedy "Neighborhood Watch," which already has Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Rosemarie DeWitt on board, for a film that involves a suburban group, aiming to keep their ends safe, who discover a conspiracy that threatens the entire world. It's a part that Chris Tucker, who hasn't made a film not called "Rush Hour" in thirteen years, was previously reported to be considering getting off his ass for, but with the actor signing on to David O. Russell's "The Silver-Lining Playbook," he appears to be otherwise engaged. Or it could be that Stiller, who was the executive-producer on "Submarine," just preferred Ayoade.
Either way, it's a big front-of-camera break for a man who's already having a pretty damn good year, and we're interested to see what he does; while it might sound like a pretty dull "Night at the Museum"-type pitch, there's some impressive comedy pedigree behind the film, with a script from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, and "Hot Rod" director and Lonely Island member Akiva Schaffer at the helm. He's not the only cast member to be added, either; Nicholas Braun, whose turn in "Red State" convinced Kevin Smith to cast him as the lead in his hockey picture "Hit Somebody," also came on board yesterday. If he's playing Vince Vaughn's son or something, it's going to make us feel old as fuck. The film's currently set to hit theater on July 27th next year, but we've got money down that it'll end up moving to Christmastime.