The film tells the story of National Lampoon co-founder Doug Kenney. Kenney started the iconic American comedy group along with fellow Harvard classmates Henry Beard and Robert Hoffman, which eventually became a magazine and nationally recognized brand. The success of the Lampoon led Kenney to Hollywood, where he worked as a writer on films like Animal House and Caddyshack, but he developed a substance abuse problem from which he never recovered. When Caddyshack was released to critical scorn, Chevy Chase brought Kenney to Hawaii for a weekend retreat, but after Kenney went missing, his body was discovered at the bottom of a cliff. The question as to whether it was an accident or suicide was never answered.
Former Lampoon editors Michael Colton and John Aboud wrote the script, based on the book from Josh Karp. Peter Principato will produce with Jonathan Stern. Colton and Aboud will executive produce alongside The Office’s Ed Helms, Ted Hamm, Benjamin Ormand, and Sean McKittrick.
Forte seems like the perfect choice for the role of Kenney. He’s proven that he can not only excel at smart, absurdist comedy, but crossover into drama as well, like he did with Alexander Payne’s Nebraska. Wain, meanwhile, has a dark streak in his sense of humor – showcased in his everything from his early work with The State to the subversive romantic comedy They Came Together – that should suit the tone of the story, which despite its tragedy will certainly look to celebrate Kenney’s groundbreaking comedic mind.
Forte will next be seen in the Key & Peele action comedy Keanu. Wain is currently in development with the adaptation of the graphic novel Too Cool to be Forgotten.
Josh Lyons | Managing Editor