April 1, 2008 / 8:33 AM / 11 years ago

Funny people to get serious for "Informant"

Actor Matt Damon poses for photographers at a photo call to promote the film "The Bourne Ultimatum" in Tokyo October 18, 2007. REUTERS/Michael Caronna

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - “Talk Soup” host Joel McHale, Scott Bakula and a host of comedic actors are set to star join Matt Damon in Steven Soderbergh’s darkly comic thriller “The Informant.”

Bakula and McHale will play FBI agents working with agri-business insider Mark Whitacre (Damon) to stop a price-fixing scam. The film is based on Kurt Eichenwald’s 2000 best-seller “The Informant: A True Story.”

Other new cast members known for their comedic turns are Mike O’Malley (CBS’ “Yes, Dear”), Andrew Daly (“Semi-Pro”), Adam Paul (Starz’ “Hollywood Residential”) and Melanie Lynskey (CBS’ “Two and a Half Men”). Comedian-actors Tom Wilson, Rick Overton and Tom Papa will round out the cast.

Although the subject matter is serious, one behind-the-scenes informant said Soderbergh is looking to create a thriller with dark comedy elements. He chose comedic actors who haven’t been overexposed on film, planning to have them play their roles seriously and have a humorous tone emerge naturally.

The prestige film is a breakthrough for McHale, who has gained a cult following on the same E! series that gave Greg Kinnear his start. It also marks one of the biggest big-screen roles for Bakula (“Quantum Leap,” “Enterprise”).

Principal photography on the Warner Independent Pictures project is set to begin this month.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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