Veep creator Armando Iannucci will executive produce a new film about amateur Sumo wrestling, which is a sentence I never thought I’d have to type. The comedy Sumo tells the story of an overweight kid who trains for the US Sumo Open, with Natalie Bailey – who has worked with Iannucci on Avenue 5 – set to direct and Death of Stalin producer Yann Zenou producing alongside Iannucci, Emily Leo, Oliver Roskill, Ado Yoshizaki Cassuto, and Gianluca Chakra. Richard Galazka is writing the script.
Deadline has the news on Sumo, describing it as “a coming-of-age comedy set in the world of amateur Sumo wrestling.” Here’s the logline:
The film follows the story of Jonah, a silver tongued and overweight kid with low self-esteem who meets Hana, a Japanese female janitor at his school – and an ex Sumo wrestler. Along with a pedantic and friendless building manager, the unlikely trio set about building a Dohjo, and training for the US Sumo Open.
Avenue 5‘s Suzy Nakamura is set to play Hana. So this is entire production seems to be made up with people Iannucci has worked with before, and that’s nothing to complain about, since he has a pretty good track record.
“As with other films I’ve been involved with in the past, Sumo is the perfect feel-good movie with a heartfelt message at its core that audiences love all around the world,” said producer Yann Zenou. “Richard’s script is literally laugh-out-loud funny whilst delicately exploring themes around body issues, bullying and self-worth. We cannot wait to bring it — and the explosive power of sumo wrestling — to the big screen.”
According to THR, the project is being compared to Little Miss Sunshine, Superbad and Booksmart, so make of that what you will. Casting is currently underway for the film, which is set to start shooting in Cape Town, South Africa this spring. Also coming this spring: Iannucci’s The Personal History of David Copperfield, which is just delightful and worth checking out.
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