Forget James Brown. The hardest-working man in show business is the guy who manages Steve Carell’s calendar. It seems like every other day a story comes out about Mr. Carell agreeing to star in a new film. And then there are days like today when it’s two films. Variety reports that Mr. Carell is set to co-star with Paul Rudd in the Jay Roach–directed Dinner for Schmucks, a remake of a French comedy about the most pathetic guest ever to attend a weekly dinner party. (In a not-so-shocking turn, Mr. Carell would play the pathetic man.) Shooting on that film is expected to begin in October. Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter says he’s looking to also star in Hi-T, a comedy about enhanced testosterone levels that reportedly has nothing to do with Alex Rodriguez. Phew! Add these to the three other projects that Mr. Carell has been previously linked with—not-to-mention his commitments to The Office—and you’ve got some scheduling conflicts. Not that he asked, but here’s some advice on how to untangle all these knots!
Do Date Night!
When we read about this project last summer, we had to pinch ourselves to make sure it was an actual reality. Date Night would match Mr. Carell with his fellow NBC stable mate Tina Fey, as the two would play a married couple who decide to spice up their marriage by … going out on a date. Predictably, hijinks ensue. The idea of matching comedy titans Ms. Fey and Mr. Carell within the structure of the always-reliable “one crazy night” movie is enough to make us faint. Not even director Shawn Levy, he of Night at the Museum infamy, could temper our excitement. Mr. Carell, find room for this film before it’s too late!
Don’t do Get Smart 2!
And don’t find room for this. Though the first Get Smart ended up being a pretty decent success for Warner Brothers last summer (amazingly, it grossed $130 million), we hope Mr. Carell flat-out avoids the sequel. For an actor with so many opportunities, it seems like doing Get Smart 2 would be a total waste of his time. And if Mr. Carell is worried about losing his family-friendly sheen, we’re sure Dinner for Schmucks, which he’s already committed to, will have the same broad appeal as Get Smart 2. Of course, the truck full of money Warner Brothers backs up to his front door will have more to do with his decision on this film than anything creative.
Do The Beaver!
That sounds much dirtier than we had anticipated. Anyway! The Beaver has been called the funniest script on the 2008 Black List—Hollywood’s list of unproduced screenplays—and it seems like the type of film that is both tailor-made for Mr. Carell’s strengths and different enough to push him into areas he’s never dared go. First time screenwriter Kyle Killin’s script centers on a man who walks around with a beaver puppet on his hand, treats it like a real thing, and uses to it express his feelings. Part Lars and the Real Girl, part Jim Carrey and part Paul Schrader, The Beaver could be a step forward for Mr. Carell from his pathos-laden work in Little Miss Sunshine. He can do something like Get Smart 2 or Dinner for Schmucks in his sleep; we want him to take a role that actually challenges him. The Beaver would be perfect.