Taking a page out of the Chris Hemsworth playbook, Fifty Shades star Jamie Dornan is signing on to join Bridesmaids duo Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo in the Lionsgate comedy Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, Collider has confirmed.
Wiig and Mumolo will play best friends Barb and Star, who leave their small Midwestern town for the first time to go on vacation in Vista Del Mar, Florida, where they quickly get mixed up in a villain’s plot to kill everyone in town. Dornan will play a spy named Edgar, though it’s unclear whether he’s working for the forces of good, or evil.
Josh Greenbaum is directing from a script that Wiig and Mumolo co-wrote, and the scribes will also produce the film along with Jessica Elbaum and her Gloria Sanchez Productions partners Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. Lionsgate will release the comedy in 2020.
Dornan is known for his somewhat dark aura, which stems from his casting as S&M enthusiast Christian Grey in the blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey franchise, as well as his portrayal of a vicious serial killer on The Fall. Since then, he hasn’t fared as well, as Robin Hood flopped in theaters and hardly anyone saw movies like Anthropoid, The 9th Life of Louis Drax, and The Siege of Jadotville, which come to think of it, all boast terrible titles. That said, I thought Dornan was quite good opposite Rosamund Pike in A Private War and I think he’s a talented actor who has, perhaps, been underestimated due to his work in Fifty Shades, which is no one’s idea of a proper acting showcase.
The point is, Dornan needs to shake it up a bit, and Barb and Star represents a bold choice for him. It’s a promising project that offers him the opportunity to flex his comedy muscles, and its success won’t rest on his shoulders. Outside of the MCU, Hemsworth seems to be at his best in goofy supporting roles, from Ghostbusters to Vacation. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dornan thrived in a similar part, though I’m not sure what the Barb and Star script ultimately asks him to do. Those Hemsworth roles were written as scene-stealers, so it’ll be interesting whether Dornan is working with similar material, or something more dramatic and sexy, like Sam Heughan in last year’s female-fronted comedy The Spy Who Dumped Me.
Dornan will next be seen alongside Shailene Woodley and Sebastian Stan in Drake Doremus‘ new movie, and he’s set to star opposite Anthony Mackie in Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead‘s next film Synchronic. Dornan is represented by UTA, and the Hollywood Reporter broke the news of his casting.