Charlie Day to Make Directorial Debut With Hollywood Comedy 'El Tonto'

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Charlie Day

Day also wrote the script and will star as a mute simpleton.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star and co-creator Charlie Day will make his directorial debut with El Tonto, a Hollywood-skewering comedy that he also wrote and in which he will star.

Armory Films, which made last year’s Mudbound, and Metalwork Pictures have come aboard to produce and finance the project, which is set to begin shooting in October in Los Angeles. Wrigley Pictures (Rampage) is also producing.

El Tonto centers on a mute simpleton who gets off a bus in Los Angeles and, through no real fault or aim of his own, rises through the Hollywood scene to become a celebrity, only to then lose it all.

Armory’s Christopher Lemole and Tim Zajaros and Metalwork’s Andrew Levitas will produce alongside Wrigley's John Rickard, who worked with Day when the two made the New Line hit comedy Horrible Bosses. Also producing is Alex Saks (The Florida Project) and her Page Fifty-Four Pictures.  

Armory Films and Metalwork Pictures will finance the feature. Endeavor Content is repping worldwide distribution rights.

Armory is currently in postproduction on The Peanut Butter Falcon, starring Shia LaBeouf, Jon Bernthal, Dakota Johnson and Bruce Dern. The company also produced and financed Joe Penna’s Arctic, a survival drama starring Mads Mikkelsen, which premiered at this year's Cannes Film Festival and was acquired by Bleecker Street.

Metalworks is behind Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s Farming, a drama starring Kate Beckinsale and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, which is part of the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival lineup. Among its projects in postproduction is Georgetown, starring Christoph Waltz, Vanessa Redgrave and Annette Bening.

Rickard most recently produced the Dwayne Johnson monster movie Rampage, which has grossed over $426 million worldwide.

Directing seems like the one thing multihyphenate Day hasn’t done yet. The comedian Is a co-creator and star of the long-running It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, on which he also writes and executive produces. (The show returns for its 13th season on Wednesday night on FXX.) He is also a co-creator and executive producer of the new Fox comedy Cool Kids, set to debut Sept. 28, and will co-create a straight-to-series half-hour scripted comedy with fellow Sunny in Philadelphia cohort Rob McElhenney for Apple. On top of that, he also has appeared on the big screen, ranging from starring gigs in the Horrible Bosses and Pacific Rim movies to doing voicework in The Lego Movie and Monsters University.

Day is repped by WME, 3 Arts Entertainment and attorney David Weber.