EXCLUSIVE: MGM is near winning an auction for an untitled buddy comedy action pitch that will pair Jason Momoa with Dave Bautista, who’ve emerged as the two hottest action stars in Hollywood. I expect the deal to close by morning.
The duo pitched it all over town this week, with Jonathan Tropper writing. The connection between the writer and stars comes from See, the Apple TV+ drama series that stars the duo. Tropper also scripted the upcoming Shawn Levy-directed The Adam Project with Ryan Reynolds. The film came from an original idea from Momoa, Bautista and Tropper. The studio will develop it, but the principals have made rich deals that kick in when the picture goes into production. Jeff Fierson is producing.
Essentially, the pitch calls for the duo to play brothers in a Lethal Weapon-esque buddy cop comedy likely to shoot in Hawaii. The stampede to get the duo began with an August 19 Tweet by Bautista: “Just going to throw this out into the atmosphere and see what happens. Here we go…Me and Momoa in a Lethal Weapon type buddy cop movie directed by David Leitch. Ok! There it is. Now we wait.”
Momoa reinforced this during an appearance days later on The Late Late Show with James Corden (see below). They are pals who text all the time, and Momoa said they will shoot on Hawaii, with Bautista in a Speedo and Momoa in his trademark board shorts.
The project doesn’t have a director, but the duo didn’t have to wait long at all. The hope will be to shoot in 2023 because they are so busy with their franchises. The actors appeared in Dune but didn’t have scenes together. They have gone mano a mano all season in See.
Momoa is shooting the sequel Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, while Bautista has another Guardians of the Galaxy and the Dune sequel in tap
Momoa is repped by WME APA and attorney Bill Sobel; Bautista is repped by CAA, Meisner Entertainment Group’s Jonathan Meisner, and Jackoway Austen Tyerman’s Karl Austen. Tropper is CAA, Kaplan/Perrone and attorney Fred Toczek.
Attempts to confirm with MGM were unavailing. Will write more when this is final.