“Happyish” had originally been planned as a starring vehicle for Philip Seymour Hoffman, but was put on hold after the actor’s death until the role could be recast.
Coogan will play Thom Payne, a 44-year-old British expatriate whose world is thrown into disarray when he gets a new 25-year-old “wunderkind” boss, who says things like “digital,” “social” and “viral.” Is he in need of a “rebranding,” as his mentor insists, or does he just have a “low joy ceiling,” as his corporate headhunter suggests?
“Happyish” was created, written and executive produced by critically acclaimed author and regular “This American Life” contributor Shalom Auslander.
“Steve’s range is astounding – he is a comedy legend, a gifted satirist, and he possesses the unique combination of talents this role demands,” said Auslander.
Ken Kwapis (“He’s Just Not That Into You,” “A Walk in The Woods”) will executive produce and direct the pilot. Kwapis’ producing partner, Alexandra Beattie, will co-executive produce, under their In Cahoots banner.
“I was obsessed with getting Philip Seymour Hoffman to do ‘Happyish’,” Nevins told Variety recently, “because I thought he was going to bring the right flavor. And then it’s the actor you’re not looking for who’s the right one.”