EXCLUSIVE: Charlie Day’s feature directorial debut El Tonto, which started production today in Los Angeles, has expanded its ensemble cast with Crazy Rich Asians’ Ken Jeong, The Pianist Oscar-winner Adrien Brody, Goodfellas Ray Liotta, and Vikings‘ Travis Fimmel joining along with Breaking Bad‘s Dean Norris and Devious Maids’ Edy Ganem
In El Tonto, Day plays a mute simpleton who upon stepping off the bus for the first time in Los Angeles is thrust into stardom, only to ultimately lose it all.
A Hollywood satire, El Tonto features Liotta playing a film producer, Ganem as the love interest to Day’s character, Jeong as a showbiz publicist and Norris in a cameo as a studio boss. They join previously announced Kate Beckinsale, Jason Sudeikis, John Malkovich, Edie Falco and Jillian Bell. Day’s Fox comedy series, The Cool Kids, which he co-created and serves as EP on, recently received a full season order from the network.
Armory Films’ Christopher Lemole and Tim Zajaros (Mudbound, Arctic) and Metalwork Pictures’ Andrew Levitas (Farming, The White Crow) are producing alongside Wrigley Pictures’ John Rickard (Rampage, Horrible Bosses) and Page Fifty-Four Pictures’ Alex Saks (The Florida Project, Wildlife). Armory Films and Metalwork Pictures are financing the feature.
Armory’s past films include Joe Penna’s Arctic starring Mads Mikkelsen which premiered in Cannes where Bleeker Street acquired the US rights; Dee Rees’ four-time Oscar nominated feature Mudbound; and the Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair horror/thriller Mom and Dad, which received rave reviews when it premiered in the Midnight Madness section at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2017.
Rickard is coming off this past spring’s success, the Dwayne Johnson action pic Rampage which reaped $426.2M at the worldwide box office. He previously worked with Day as a producer on New Line’s Horrible Bosses franchise which grossed over $317M WW between two pics. Saks recently produced the Oscar-nominated title The Florida Project, Thoroughbreds and last summer’s box office sleeper, The Book Club. Endeavor Content is handling El Tonto‘s global rights.
Jeong is repped by ICM, Aligned Entertainment and Stone, Genow, Smelkinson, Binder & Christopher. Liotta is repped by Gersh and Untitled Entertainment. Brody is repped by Paradigm. Fimmel is with Paradigm, Management 360, and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern. Ganem is represented by Paradigm, McKeon/Myones Entertainment, and Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner & Gellman. Norris is a client of CAA and Industry Entertainment.