20th Century Fox has acquired Cold Comfort (aka How to Catch a Russian Spy) today for The Amazing Spider-Man director Marc Webb to helm. Based on the yet-to-be-published novel of the same name by Ellis Henican, the project is said to be a star vehicle for “a comic actor in the vein of Jonah Hill.” The comedic spy flick will tell the true story of an average everyday U.S. citizen who taught himself how to be a spy and worked with the FBI to bring down a Russian intelligence officer.
With his current commitment to Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man franchise, it might be some time before Webb gets this project off the ground. Hopefully it’s not too long though. While I didn’t love the director’s take on the webslinger, I’m a huge fan of (500) Days of Summer and I’m eager to see Webb step away from his franchise obligations and give us something other than a Spider-Man film.
If we’re lucky, Sony will let him take some time to go and make Cold Comfort before they bring him back for The Amazing Spider-Man 3, which is currently scheduled for 2016. Unfortunately, given how noticeably the studio has fast-tracked the superhero series, green-lighting all manner of sequels and spinoffs, it’s more than likely that Webb won’t start shooting this project until that threequel wraps production.
Espionage during the Cold War is currently the subject of one of television’s best dramas, FX’s The Americans, so hopefully Cold Comfort will find a way to balance its period setting with fine acting in the same manner. Of course, 20th Century Fox is looking to infuse comedy with the tense time period, an undeniably risky proposition, so it’s likely that the film will fall back on its humor as opposed to weaving a solid story with strong performances.
As always, we’ll keep you posted when we hear more.
Tell us, are you looking forward to seeing Marc Webb step away from big-budget filmmaking and direct Cold Comfort (aka How to Catch a Russian Spy)? Who do you want to see star in the film? Sound off below!