Comics gotta serve somebody


MTV Films has picked up "Kanan Rhodes: Unkillable Servant of Justice," a comedy from Rainn Wilson and Bob Odenkirk. Wilson will star in "Rhodes," and Odenkirk will direct. Odenkirk is producing along with Naomi Odenkirk, his wife and partner at their newly formed Type-O Prods. shingle.

Written by Bob Odenkirk, B.J. Porter and Scott Aukerman, "Rhodes" follows the misadventures of a man who serves subpoenas with the suaveness, intensity and conviction of James Bond, though that's where the similarity ends.

"It's a souped-up 'Pink Panther'-slash-'Ace Ventura' and overflowing with comic characters," Odenkirk told The Hollywood Reporter. "The appeal of Rainn is that Rainn can play a character who is absolutely sure of himself, who is full of bravado and braggadocio, and in the course of being that guy, he's hilarious and extremely sympathetic."

Odenkirk said the script was written seven years ago and sat on the shelf "because we couldn't find anyone who could pull it off. Until we got Rainn in our brain! A lot of actors would come off as dicks, but when he does it, it's sweet and kind of sad."

The plan is to do a quick rewrite and then to shoot in May during Wilson's hiatus from NBC's "The Office," in which he plays one of the show's breakout characters, the fascist assistant Dwight.

Odenkirk said he also will be looking for a "superpowered" young comedy cast. "I want to people this movie with the best that's out there and get an amazing ensemble," he said.

Luke Ryan is overseeing "Rhodes" for MTV.

Wilson is writing "Bonzai Shadowhands," a ninja comedy that Jason Reitman will direct for Fox Searchlight. His next feature outing will be in New Line Cinema's "The Last Mimzy," being directed by Bob Shaye. He is repped by WMA, 3 Arts Entertainment and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern.

Odenkirk directed "Let's Go to Prison" and has "Brothers Solomon" coming out from Revolution and Screen Gems this year. He is repped by CAA, Brillstein-Grey Entertainment and Michael Gendler.