Prime Video Picks Up Peter Farrelly’s ‘Ricky Stanicky’ Starring Zac Efron & John Cena; Jermaine Fowler Joins Cast

EXCLUSIVE: Deadline has learned that Prime Video has taken global rights to Ricky Stanicky from Oscar-winning Green Book director Peter Farrelly.

Additionally, Sorry to Bother You‘s Jermaine Fowler has joined the cast and will star alongside Zac Efron and John Cena. Ricky Stanicky, which marks a return to comedy for Farrelly, commences production in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia this month. Deadline first told you about the R-rated project.

In the film, three friends invent a character to use to get out of tricky predicaments, but they have to hire an actor to portray their fictional friend when their significant others become suspicious.

Producers include Paul Currie (Hacksaw Ridge, Blacklight) via Footloose Productions, Thorsten Schumacher (Crimes of the Future, All Quiet on the Western Front) via Rocket Science, in association with John Jacobs (Ted, Blades of Glory) via Smart Entertainment. The recent draft is written by Farrelly, Brian Jarvis (Wishbone at Universal), and James L. Freeman (Wishbone). The original spec is by Jeff Bushell (Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Bella and the Bulldogs). Steve Oedekerk (Bruce Almighty, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls) did a rewrite some years later.

Fowler most recently starred in Hulu’s comedy The Drop. He also can be seen alongside Dakota Johnson in the comedy Am I Okay and had a breakout role in Prime Video’s smash Eddie Murphy hit Coming 2 America. Up next, Fowler can be seen starring in Lionsgate’s The Blackening. Previously, Fowler appeared in the critically acclaimed film from Shaka King, Judas and the Black Messiah. He also starred in and executive produced CBS’s Comedy Superior Donuts, and on the big screen, was seen opposite Lakeith Stanfield in 2018’s Sorry to Bother You. Additionally, Fowler previously co-created and starred in the truTV sketch-comedy series Friends of the People. Fowler is represented by UTA and Entertainment 360.

Two-time Oscar-winner Farrelly’s comedic canon includes Dumb and Dumber, Shallow Hal, Kingpin, Hall Pass, and There’s Something About Mary, which have amassed over a combined global box office revenue of over $1 billion.

CAA Media Finance and Rocket Science brokered the deal with Prime Video on behalf of the filmmakers.

“We are excited to embark on this new project with comedy legend Peter Farrelly,” said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon and MGM Studios. “With Peter’s expertise and what are sure-to-be hilarious performances from our stellar cast led by Zac Efron, John Cena, and Jermaine Fowler, our Prime Video viewers around the world are in store for a bit of mischief and a lot of laughs.”

“I’m very grateful to Amazon, as well as Paul Currie, Thorsten Schumacher, and John Jacobs, for finally bringing Ricky Stanicky to life,” said Farrelly. “This has been a dream project of mine for many years but to end up with a cast this crazy good makes the wait more than worthwhile.”

The Amazon Original Movie will stream on Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide at release. The production was attracted to Victoria through the Victorian Screen Incentive and the Regional Location Assistance Fund.

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