EXCLUSIVE: For their sports horror pic Goat, Universal Pictures and Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw banner looked to have found the actor to play their greatest-of-all-time athlete. Marlon Wayans has been set to star in the pic, which Justin Tipping is on board to direct. Jordan Peele, Win Rosenfeld, Ian Cooper and Jamal Watson are producers. Executive producers are David Kern and Kate Oh.
The project, based on a spec by Zack Akers and Skip Bronkie, centers on a promising young athlete who is invited to train with a team’s retiring star.
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While execs have taken the screen-testing route for finding the young athlete character, sources say Wayans was always top of the studio’s list for its GOAT. Universal EVP Production Development Sara Scott and Director of Development Tony Ducret will oversee the project for the studio.
Wayans hit a career milestone with his first stand-up comedy special, Woke-ish, which premiered on Netflix in 2018. His third comedy special for HBO Max, Marlon Wayans: God Loves Me, dropped last March. His overall deal with HBO Max included performing a stand-up special and hosting a multi-act special; that resulted in his specials Marlon Wayans: You Know What It Is and Marlon Wayans Presents: The Headliners.
In March 2023 Wayans’ had a successful run guest-hosting a week of The Daily Show. Onscreen, Wayans recently starred as George Raveling in Prime Video’s Air alongside Matt Damon, Viola Davis and Ben Affleck. In 2022, he starred in and produced Netflix’s The Curse of Bridge Hollow. Other recent credits include starring as Ted White in MGM’s Aretha Franklin biopic Respect opposite Jennifer Hudson, and in Sofia Coppola’s Apple-A24 movie On the Rocks alongside Rashida Jones and Bill Murray.
As for Tipping, the rising star in the director ranks, his debut feature Kicks, which he directed and co-wrote, was produced by Animal Kingdom and released by Focus Features. His TV credits include Black Monday, The Chi, Flatbush Misdemeanors, Joe Vs Carole and Dear White People.
Wayans is repped by 3 Arts, WME and Kevin Yorn / Ryan Goodell at Morris Yorn. Tipping is repped by UTA, Grandview and Ziffren Brittenham. Peele is repped by CAA and Jared Levine.
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