Veteran actor John Leguizamo has been cast alongside Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart in Nima Nourizadeh’s (Project X) upcoming action-comedy, American Ultra. Written by Max Landis (Chronicle), Eisenberg plays a stoner with a shadowy past forced to combat a government operation seeking to wipe him out. It sounds like a great premise for a stoner film, and with Uma Thurman and Walton Goggins co-starring, the cast is shaping up rather nicely.
With the title being an obvious allusion to America’s infamous “Project MK Ultra,” the plot will likely spoof many of the conspiracy theories involving drug experiments and the U.S. government. After helming the uninspired Project X, I’m not so sure Nourizadeh is the right director for this type of satirical humour, though. Perhaps his high-energy approach will prove to be a good fit, but right now I’m not feeling too confident. Leguizamo, on the other hand, does seem well suited for the film, with his manic comedic style (remember The Pest, anyone?) seeming like it will compliment Landis’ script quite well.
While he may not be the promising star that he once was, John Leguizamo has built a career on memorable roles, with 2013 seeing a bit of a return to form for the actor. Though Kick-Ass 2 and The Counsellor were not overly successful, his parts in those films were both entertaining and charismatic. And with a role in this year’s box office hit Ride Along already under his belt, and a strong turn in the upcoming Chef, Leguizamo is moving forward with confidence.
Best known for playing an up-and-coming gangster in Carlito’s Way, an over-the-top Tybalt in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet, and a crazed Clown in Spawn—and let’s be honest, a horrible version of Luigi in the much maligned Super Mario Bros.—Leguizamo can be both funny and serious at the same time. Let’s just hope American Ultra gives him the kind of role that he can really sink his teeth into.