Jason Mantzoukas, who has been juggling acting and writing, has sold 2 projects: a feature action comedy pitch I’ve Got Your Girlfriend to 20th Century Fox and a workplace comedy to FX. I’ve Got Your Girlfriend, which is being produced by the Chernin Co., Scot Armstrong and Ravi Nandan, was one of first pitches bought by Jeremy Kramer, Fox’s new EVP of production. It stems from Mantzoukas and Nandan’s desire to do an action comedy in the tradition of Beverly Hills Cop and Die Hard and from their obsession with the 2008 action thriller Taken starring Liam Neeson as a former spy searching for his abducted daughter. “What if we did a comedy version of that?,” Mantzoukas said about the origin of the idea. “Liam is a trained assassin. What if you or me got that call? What would we do? We would get our asses kicked.” In I’ve Got Your Girlfriend, only the central character will be comedic, with the rest envisioned as a Jason Bourne-type action.
Mantzoukas’ first produced script was buddy comedy half-hour Off Duty, which was picked up to pilot at NBC starring Bradley Whitford and Romany Malco. Mantzoukas executive produced the 2009 pilot with Armstrong and Nandan, while Adam Bernstein directed it. It didn’t make the cut to series but the four loved working together and have reunited for Ambulance Chasers, a workplace comedy about personal injury attorneys in the works at FX. The project takes a “down and dirty” approach to the classic courtroom genre by moving away from the glitzy high-end law firms and focusing on street-mall attorneys featured in local TV commercials. The project expands Mantzoukas’ existing relationship with FX where he has recurred on the comedy series The League. In addition to his writing gigs (he is also a writer-producer on Rob Corddry’s Cartooon Network series Childrens Hospital, working on its 3rd season, and did a rewrite on New Line’s action comedy Ride Along starring Ice Cube), Mantzoukas has been busy on the acting side as well. In addition to The League, he has a major recurring arc on HBO’s upcoming Mike White/Laura Dern comedy series Enlightened as well as a guest appearance on NBC’s Parks & Recreation. Manzoukas, repped by CAA and Mosaic, came out of the New York comedy scene and first made a name for himself as an Upright Citizens Brigade player.