Last year, Searchlight Pictures gave Aziz Ansari the opportunity to make his feature directorial debut with a movie titled Being Mortal that would’ve starred Keke Palmer, Seth Rogen, and Bill Murray, but an uncomfortable incident involving Murray forced the studio to pull the plug on the project in the middle of the shoot.
Ansari took some time to compose himself following that unfortunate turn of events, and he will now resume the task of getting his career back on track by finally making his first feature — Lionsgate’s comedy Good Fortune, which will pair him with Rogen and the studio’s golden boy, Keanu Reeves.
Plot details are being kept under wraps, but Ansari will direct Good Fortune from his own screenplay, and he’ll also produce alongside his Master of None collaborator Alan Yang, as well as Oscar winner Anthony Katagas (12 Years a Slave), who most recently produced James Gray‘s acclaimed coming-of-age film Armageddon Time and David O. Russell‘s period piece Amsterdam.
“We have indeed found ‘good fortune’ with this film,” Lionsgate chairman Joe Drake said in a statement. “We love the script and believe strongly in Aziz as both a performer and a director. And when you add in Seth and Keanu – two incredible world-class talents — toplining alongside Aziz, this has the potential to be a very special film for us. We moved quickly to land this project once it was available.”
The studio is indeed moving quickly, as the project has already been greenlit, and will begin filming next month in Los Angeles. Lionsgate will also launch foreign sales in Cannes next month. Dan Freedman, Phil Strina, John Biondo, and Matt Leonetti were instrumental in negotiating the deal for Lionsgate, where the film will be overseen by Brady Fujikawa and Jon Humphrey.
Reeves currently stars in Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter 4, which has taken in over $350 million worldwide and counting. He will return as Wick in Lionsgate’s upcoming action movie Ballerina starring Ana de Armas. As for Rogen, he currently voices Donkey Kong in The Super Mario Bros. Movie and he’ll soon be seen in the Apple TV+ series Platonic alongside his Neighbors co-star Rose Byrne. Rogen is represented by UTA and Principal Entertainment LA, while Reeves is repped by WME and Sugar23.
Best known for his seven-season run as Tom Haverford on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, Ansari won a pair of Emmys for his writing on Master of None, which he co-created with showrunner Yang. In addition to Master of None, Yang also co-created and served as the showrunner on Apple’s comedy series Loot starring Maya Rudolph, They’re both represented by WME, while Ansari is managed by 3 Arts and Ocean Avenue.