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Development roundup: Seth Rogen comedy, space prom, and Ryan Reynolds' Free Guy get green lights

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Dec 4, 2018, 5:15 PM EST (Updated)

A slew of some very silly-sounding comedies are on their way from some big names in Hollywood, all of which have plenty of genre flair. Whether they deal with video games, space from, or time travel via pickle barrel, they’re all here to entertain.

First up, let’s talk video games. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Shawn Levy (a director/producer already associated with Uncharted as well as projects like Stranger Things) will be directing Free Guy.

This film, written by Matt Lieberman involves Ryan Reynolds as, effectively, an extra in a video game. Only, he’s slowly becoming self-aware. He’s got to team up with a player character to stop the developers from demolishing his universe. That’s like a combination of Wreck-It Ralph and The Emoji Movie, which wouldn’t bode well for anyone but the adept Deadpool portrayer. The script has been around as a speculative project at Fox since 2016 and will be produced by Reynolds, Levy, Sarah Schechter, George Dewey, Adam Kolbrenner, and Arrowverse mastermind Greg Berlanti.


The Hollywood Reporter also had some news about a film with other famous producers. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the duo behind Future Man, Preacher, and the upcoming The Boys (as well as tons of non-genre comedies) are adapting a novella about a time-travelling pickle maker for Sony.

Simon Rich’s New Yorker story “Sell Out” focuses on Herschel Greenbaum (Rogen), who basically embalms himself accidentally inside a pickle barrel, only to wake up a century later in a Brooklyn overrun by skinny jeans and ironic beards. Rich will adapt his own story while Brandon Trost, a Rogen mainstay, is looking to make his directorial debut with the project.

The film is set to start pickling its time traveler when production kicks off on Oct. 29 in Pittsburgh.


Finally, a prolific uncredited rewriter is adapting his own novel for the big screen. Chris McCoy’s YA sci-fi story The Prom Goer’s Interstellar Excursion is getting a film adaptation as per Deadline, which reported that the writer worked on Guardians of the Galaxy’s script, among many others.

The 2015 story follows Bennett and Sophie, who plan to go to the prom together... until Sophie is abducted by aliens. To solve the situation, Bennett embarks on a space-traveling quest with plenty of weird alien drifters, musicians, and more. He literally becomes a Hitchhiker in need of a Guide to the Galaxy. No news yet when the teens will hit theaters.