It’s a good time to be Kumail Nanjiani, who stars on HBO’s Silicon Valley and was just nominated for an Oscar for co-writing The Big Sick. The Pakistani-American actor is entertaining a flood of offers these days, and now he has signed on for his first lead in a studio comedy, as Nanjiani will join Dave Bautista in 20th Century Fox’s action comedy STUBER, the Tracking Board has confirmed.
Michael Dowse (Goon) is directing from a script by Tripper Clancy, and the film is being produced by Game Night directors Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley. Jake Wagner and Nick Thomas are executive producing, while Fox’s Jeremy Kramer will oversee the project for the studio.
Nanjiani will play a mild-mannered Uber driver named Stu who picks up a grizzled cop (Bautista) and gets sucked into his hunt for a vicious killer. Can he survive the chase and keep his five-star rating intact?
Coincidentally, Nanjiani’s former Silicon Valley co-star T.J. Miller had previously been in talks for the role before a PR crisis led the studios to reconsider his pairing with Bautista.
Stuber is just one of several studio comedies that Nanjiani has been circling, as he’s also been eyed for Sony’s Mr. America, which has the Russo brothers producing. But just as studios have been looking to take advantage of Nanjiani’s quick wit and killer timing, the actor has been looking to spread his wings a bit, as he recently entered talks to star in the Annapurna drama The True American. This news, which has been in the works since mid-January (at least) likely comes in response to yesterday’s True American story, as if to signal, “we have Kumail’s first open slot, wait your turn!”
Regardless of which film goes first, it’s a good time to be Nanjiani, who is also developing several projects as a producer, including a TV remake of My Beautiful Laundrette. He’s represented by UTA and Mosaic.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief