Universal Pictures confirmed that production began this week on the Top Secret Untitled Lonely Island Movie, starring digital-shorts superstars Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone. The famous trio, known by their millions of fans as The Lonely Island, are starring in their first feature-film together as the band. Co-directed by Schaffer and Taccone, the comedy from blockbuster producer Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, Bridesmaids, upcoming Trainwreck) will be set in the world of music.
Taccone, Samberg and Schaffer have been friends since junior high school in Berkeley, California. In 2000, the trio began writing, directing and producing its own brand of comedy and showcasing it on www.thelonelyisland.com. The three writing partners are responsible for creating the popular SNL “Digital Shorts,” which reinvigorated the series and spurred many water-cooler moments over the past decade.
Some of the most notable shorts include their Emmy-winning “D**k in a Box” (with Justin Timberlake), “Lazy Sunday” (a rap about The Chronicles of Narnia) and “The Natalie Portman Rap,” “YOLO (featuring Adam Levine & Kendrick Lamar),” “I Just Had Sex (featuring Akon)” and “I’m on a Boat (featuring T-Pain).” The Lonely Island’s debut album, “Incredibad,” was released by Universal Republic in February 2009 and is the first comedy album to reach No. 1 on iTunes.
“Not to be hyperbolic, but we are seriously zazzed about this movie,” said The Lonely Island. “I have begged these fine gentlemen to allow me to produce one of their films since day one,” said Apatow, “and finally they decided my whining needed to come to an end.”
Joining the behind-the-scenes crew of The Lonely Island are director of photography Brandon Trost (This Is the End, Neighbors); editors Jamie Gross (Role Models, upcoming Vacation), Stacey Schroeder (Grudge Match, TV’s Key and Peele) and Zene Baker (This Is the End, Neighbors); production designer Jon Billington (World War Z, The Interview) and costume designer Sophie De Rakoff (Legally Blonde, Sweet Home Alabama).
The feature film will be produced by Apatow, Rodney Rothman (producer of Get Him to the Greek, Forgetting Sarah Marshall; co-writer of 22 Jump Street), Samberg, Taccone and Schaffer and executive produced by Morgan Sackett (TV’s Parks and Recreation, Seinfeld). The Top Secret Untitled Lonely Island Movie will be released by Universal Pictures worldwide.