EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures has pre-emptively bought Substitute Teacher, a pitch to give feature film treatment to the wildly web popular skits from sibling cable channel Comedy Central’s hit sketch show Key & Peele. The viral video of the skit has gotten over 72 million YouTube hits, and focuses on an inner city substitute teacher who refuses to be messed with as he takes attendance in a class of white, suburban high school students.
Keegan-Michael Key will reprise his role as as the over-the-top substitute Mr. Garvey, and Jordan Peele will portray a rival teacher determined to be the students’ favorite. Script will be written by Rich Talarico and Alex Rubens, who are co-producers of Key & Peele, which returns for its fifth season on Comedy Central in July. Key and Peele will produce alongside 21 Laps’ Shawn Levy and Dan Levine and Principato Young Entertainment’s Peter Principato, Paul Young, and Joel Zadak. Will Rack is overseeing for 21 Laps.
21 Laps recently had two comedy hits with Night At the Museum 3, which has grossed $350 million worldwide so far and before that produced Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible Very Bad Day, which grossed over $100 million worldwide.
Key & Peele set their first joint film project at New Line. Entitled Keanu, which is slated to begin production in the spring. The title refers not to the actor who played Neo in The Matrix, but rather a stolen cat. Two friends pose as drug dealers to infiltrate the criminal underworld in order to retrieve the kitty. Peele wrote the script with Rubens. Key and Peele are repped by Principato-Young. Key also is with UTA.
Here is one of a series of Substitute Teacher skits: