I think that there’s a rule in Hollywood that movies that start with the word “American” must have amazing ensemble casts (see: American Hustle, American Beauty, American Pie, American Gangster, American Graffiti). This week, the action-comedy American Ultra adds three new members to an already bustling line-up: Sharon Stone, Bill Pullman and Arrested Development‘s Tony Hale. They join Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Justified‘s Walton Goggins, Topher Grace and John Leguizamo in a film for Project X director Nima Nourizadeh.
The low-budget Lionsgate movie, picked up for a cool $7 million in March, stars Eisenberg as Mike, a stoner and slacker living in a small town whose past as a highly-trained secret agent comes back to interfere with his new, quieter existence. He becomes the target of a top secret government operation, which naturally does not sit well with his girlfriend, Phoebe (played by Eisenberg’s Adventureland co-star, Stewart).
Pullman and Stone are two fine actors who we do not see very often, except on cable re-runs of Independence Day and Basic Instinct, so it is exciting to see them working on a light-hearted action comedy. Although little is known about the actors’ roles in the film, how great would it be to see Pullman as the president on the big screen again? (He also played the Commander in Chief on the short-lived NBC comedy, 1600 Penn.)
Speaking of the small screen, any film that includes the men behind Buster Bluth and Boyd Crowder should instantly spark some excitement, even if Hale and Goggins only have minor roles. To imagine these fine character actors as high-level government operatives just brims with comedic possibilities.
Based on Max Landis (who penned the script) and Nourizadeh’s work on low-budget films with a high production values, American Ultra could be a very exciting venture, especially with such a game cast involved.
Production started in New Orleans on Monday, so expect the action-comedy to hit theatres sometime in 2015.