It’s been a little while since we heard anything about Sacha Baron Cohen’s spy comedy Grimsby, which Now You See Me director Louis Letterier is set to direct for Sony. As it turns out, the film was still working on pulling together a cast, and now we’ve learned that it has just enlisted the diverse talents of four great actors. Signing on for Grimsby are Hercules actor Ian McShane, Homeland‘s David Harewood, Precious star Gabourey Sidibe and English comedian Johnny Vegas.
The roles of each actor are being kept under wraps, but Grimsby focuses on a British black ops spy (Mark Strong) who finds his life in danger and is forced to call on his idiotic football hooligan brother (Baron Cohen) in order to survive. Baron Cohen scripted the film along with Phil Johnston (Wreck-It Ralph, Cedar Rapids) and Peter Baynham (Borat, Bruno).
Baron Cohen is known for his outrageous characters and provocative routines, but with an action-oriented director like Letterier at the helm, there’s a good chance that Grimsby will shape up into a high-octane spy action comedy in the vein of Johnny English.
Grimsby is still in pre-production, but Sony has scheduled it for a prime July 31st, 2015, release date, where it will open against Tim Burton’s supernatural book adaptation Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Expect one of those two to move – though I’d imagine that it will probably be Miss Peregrine, seeing as we’ve heard next to nothing about casting for it.
The summer of 2015 is going to be highly competitive, so Sony throwing Grimsby into the ring signifies that the studio has a great deal of confidence, both in Leterrier’s ability to deliver a slick, easily marketable product and in Baron Cohen’s ability to draw in audiences. I’d put more money on the former than the latter; still, with a cast as strong as this, Grimsby‘s prospects are rosy.