He was a mall cop, next up he's going to be a zookeeper, and in the slate for Kevin James' continuing run of fat-guy-in-wacky-situations comedies is an untitled martial arts comedy written by the hugely overrated Allan Loeb ("The Switch," "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps").
The film, first announced last fall, now has a director and it will be guided by "The Zookeeper" director Frank Coraci. We probably could have guessed that. "The Zookeeper" landed a sweet summer release after overwhelming test scores prompted Sony to get the film out of a winter slot and give it a more blockbuster friendly summer opening date. The film will find James playing a physics teacher (that's not the funny part) who attempts to save his best friend's music program as the school faces drastic cutbacks. How does he do this? He raises money by moonlighting as a mixed martial arts fighter and he improbably makes it all the way to the UFC. Looks like somebody is going to be sent to the principal's office!
Of course, Kevin James will next be seen in "The Dilemma" with Vince Vaughn opening Friday and then he does his fat guy, funny faces thing in "The Zookeeper" on July 8th. No word yet on when the MMA film will get in front of cameras but it's probably a safe bet the project is aiming for a 2012 release.