By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com March 7, 2012 at 9:18AM
Slowly but surely, the cast of cult MTV comedy sketch show "The State" have been taking over Hollywood. Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant have made millions as screenwriters of films like "The Pacifier" and "Night at the Museum," while Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black have both moved into writing and directing as well, with "The Baxter" and "Wedding Daze," respectively.
But probably the purest 'State' movie to date was "Role Models," the 2008 comedy written by David Wain and Ken Marino, with A-list buddy Paul Rudd, which went on to be something of a sleeper hit. Unfortunately, when the trio returned a few weeks ago with the Judd Apatow-produced "Wanderlust," the film tanked, but it's unlikely that means we're done seeing films from the show's alumni. Indeed, Marino, along with fellow "The State" cast-member Joe LoTruglio, who stole the show in both "Role Models" and "Wanderlust," are already working on future projects.
The pair were guests of the always-worth-a-listen Q&A Podcast with Jeff Goldsmith to discuss "Wanderlust," and revealed that they have been writing together, albeit in a genre that promises to be very different from their previous collaborations. At the end of the interview (which is interesting, regardless of how you feel about the film), they're asked about future projects, and Lo Truglio tells Goldsmith "We're trying to write a horror movie," while Marino adds "we wrote the horror movie, and we're trying to write now a comedy/horror movie we're doing a new pass of."
Lo Truglio (who's also familiar from the likes of "Paul" and "Superbad") then expands: "[The horror movie] is called 'Burnt,' and it's out there and hopefully will get made at some point. But that's a more kinda traditional horror movie like 'Frankenstein' meets 'Last House on the Left' meets 'Friday The 13th,' something like that. And the other one is more of a horror comedy." That latter film is currently untitled, but Marino says that the title "used to be 'People Will Die.' Then it just became 'The Werewolf Movie,' 'Untitled Werewolf Story.' 'Werewolves On A Tropical Island.'" Which does at least give hints towards the plot, even if that third title is likely a little tongue-in-cheek (or perhaps not?).
Still, it's intriguing that the pair are pushing away from their comfort zone into more genre-heavy territory, and we'll be keeping our eye out for more news on both projects. In the meantime, Marino's a busy bee, as he's not only working on a fourth season of the hilarious "Children's Hospital" with Wain and Rob Corddry, but he's also directing and starring in a new web series, produced by Ben Stiller's Red Hour Productions and Paramount's Insurge Pictures, which will debut on Yahoo.
Announced in The Hollywood Reporter last week, and confirmed by Marino in the interview, the show is entitled "Burning Love," and is penned by Marino's wife Erica Oyama (who's written for "Children's Hospital" in the past). It's a parody of reality dating shows like "The Bachelor," with the writer/director playing a fireman looking to find his dream girl, and a hugely impressive selection of guest stars are lined up, including Michael Ian Black, Kerri Kenney, Malin Akerman, Kristen Bell, Ken Jeong, Adam Scott, Abigail Spencer ("This Means War"), Natasha Leggero ("Free Agents"), Ryan Hansen ("Party Down"), June Diane Raphael ("Going The Distance"), Noureen DeWulf ("Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past") and LoTruglio's other half Beth Dover. No news on when this'll hit screens, but being a web series, it's bound to be sooner rather than later.