Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, through their Gary Sanchez production company, have been trying to get King Dork up and running for six years. Studios and directors have come and gone, but it's now finally underway, with Casa De Mi Padre's Matt Piedmont at the helm.
Ferrell and co. picked up the option on Frank Portman's novel in 2006, and it was initially in development at Paramount. Three years later it drifted to Sony, with Seth Gordon attached. Clearly the relationships formed on Casa De Mi Padre were the charm though, and King Dork is now moving forward as an indie.
The book revolves around school misfit Tom Henderson, the mysterious death of his father, and the life-changing discovery of JD Salinger's The Catcher In The Rye. This leads, the blurb tells us, to "several interlocking conspiracies involving dead people, naked people, fake people, ESP, blood, a secret code, guitars, monks, witchcraft, the Bible, girls, the Crusades, a devil head, and rock and roll."
"It's about that moment when you go from the confines of your room with your music, to venturing out in the world with fantasies of rock stardom,” says McKay. “They stumble through in a scary, hilarious way and actually in a strange way become rock stars. We all remember the days when you’d ride a bike to meet a girl, or obsess over album covers and look at bands like they were on a different planet."
The screenplay is by DV DeVincentis, who wrote High Fidelity and Grosse Point Blank. McKay says "It was too good to let go". It'll now proceed under the same set-up as Casa De Mi Padre, as a co-production between Gary Sanchez and NALA Films, with shooting beginning in June in Connecticut. There's no cast yet, so its unclear whether Ferrell will appear or just produce. But, says McKay, "Will definitely loves it, and there are a good couple of roles he could play..."
Casa De Mi Padre will debut at the SXSW festival on March 13 and then get its US release on March 16. There's no word yet on when it'll make its way to the UK.