Universal Pictures today announced that production begins this week on the Top Secret Untitled Lonely Island Project, starring digital-shorts superstars Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone, who are collectively known as The Lonely Island. Co-directed by Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone, the comedy from blockbuster producer Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, Bridesmaids, upcoming Trainwreck) will be set in the world of music.
Taccone, Samberg and Schaffer have been friends since junior high school in Berkeley, California. In 2000, the trio began writing, directing and producing its own brand of comedy and showcasing it on TheLonelyIsland.com. The three writing partners are responsible for creating the popular SNL "Digital Shorts," which reinvigorated the series and spurred many water-cooler moments over the past decade.
Some of the most notable shorts include their Emmy-winning "D**k in a Box" (with Justin Timberlake), "Lazy Sunday" (a rap about The Chronicles of Narnia) and "The Natalie Portman Rap," "YOLO (featuring Adam Levine & Kendrick Lamar)," "I Just Had Sex (featuring Akon)" and "I'm on a Boat (featuring T-Pain)." The Lonely Island's debut album, "Incredibad," was released by Universal Republic in February 2009 and is the first comedy album to reach No. 1 on iTunes. Here's what The Lonely Island had to say in a joint statement.
"Not to be hyperbolic, but we are seriously zazzed about this movie."
Producer Judd Apatow had this to say in his statement.
"I have begged these fine gentlemen to allow me to produce one of their films since day one, and finally they decided my whining needed to come to an end."
Joining the behind-the-scenes crew of The Lonely Island are director of photography Brandon Trost (This Is the End, Neighbors); editors Jamie Gross (Role Models, upcoming Vacation), Stacey Schroeder (Grudge Match, TV's Key & Peele) and Zene Baker (This Is the End, Neighbors); production designer Jon Billington (World War Z, The Interview) and costume designer Sophie De Rakoff (Legally Blonde, Sweet Home Alabama). The feature film will be produced by Judd Apatow, Rodney Rothman (producer of Get Him to the Greek, Forgetting Sarah Marshall; co-writer of 22 Jump Street), Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone and executive produced by Morgan Sackett (TV's Parks and Recreation, Seinfeld). The Top Secret Untitled Lonely Island Project will be released by Universal Pictures worldwide.
A separate report reveals the story focuses on a successful rapper whose current album bombs, forcing him to "do the unthinkable," get back together with his former boy band for a reunion concert. The plot is also said to be a parody of recent concert documentaries such as Justin Bieber's Believe and Katy Perry: Part of Me. Producer Judd Apatow also revealed the first poster on his Twitter account, to commemorate the start of principal photography. Check it out below, and stay tuned for more on the Untitled Lonely Island Project.