|What a difference a hit TV show, and a cult character, make. Until Entourage debuted a couple of years, searing his scathing turn as agent from hell Ari Gold onto the consciousness of millions of people everywhere, Jeremy Piven (who shall heretofore be known as The Piv) had a nice career, but wasn’t exactly pulling up fences.|
In fact, he was Mr. Fifth (or Sixth, Seventh and occasionally Eighth) Billing, and was best known for being John Cusack’s best mate, frequently turning up in his pal’s movies. But, though he was a fine, charismatic and clearly very funny actor in his own right, lead roles passed him by.
That all changed with Entourage, about which The Piv is undoubtedly the best thing. Now, he adorns magazine covers, and even when he turns up in a cameo appearance, it’s no longer because he has no option; instead, a Piv cameo, as when he turns up in The Kingdom or Guy Ritchie’s forthcoming Rocknrolla, is a stamp of quality.
And, finally, a lead role in a major motion picture is his (Smokin’ Aces, in which he played the title character, was an ensemble piece): he’ll play the lead role in The Goods: The Don Ready Story, as a former used car liquidator who has to save a struggling dealership over the Fourth of July weekend.
With a title like that, you might not be surprised to find that Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, the team behind similarly coloned movies, Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy and Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby, are involved. The duo will produce for Paramount Vantage through their Gary Sanchez production company, which might again hint at the sort of lunatic tone we can expect. And bully for them for finally giving The Piv a big screen platform for his considerable wisecracking talents.
And, if you’re a regular internet user and you’re sitting there thinking, ‘old news, Empire’, well, you’re right, but erm, we missed it when news of The Piv’s lead role first came around.
Besides, the movie added two new co-stars today, in the shape of Ferrell/McKay old boy, David Koechner, and Ving Rhames, giving us an excuse to wax lyrical about The Piv. No word just yet on the characters that Koechner or Rhames will be playing, however.
Neil Brennan will call the shots on the movie which starts filming in December in LA and – if the producers’ track record is anything to go by – which could deliver The Goods big-time.
Vive Le Piv!