Steve Carell will have ‘Conviction’ as star of new action-comedy

Ok, Jonathan Herman, we’ve got good news and bad news. The good news? Your “Heat”-esque heist script “Conviction”, which if you’ll remember you sold on spec to Warner Bros. and Silver Pictures two years ago, is finally going forward as a major motion picture starring Steve Carell! The bad news? Uh…well, see, Steve Carell is a funny-man, as you’re no doubt aware, so we’re bringing in a new writer to rework your original screenplay as an action-comedy. In other words, it won’t at all be the movie you envisioned it as. But who cares, right? Steve Carell! Major motion picture!

And so it goes in Hollywood, and certainly “Conviction” isn’t the first project that will go through drastic changes – up to and including a genre switch – on its way to the big screen (though we’ll assume that the basic premise is going to remain intact until we hear otherwise).

In a nutshell, “Conviction” centers on a master bank robber (Carell?) who is sentenced to five years in prison following a botched heist and is subsequently forced by the FBI to set up his protege as he undertakes his own big-money heist. Carell will also produce the film, along with Joel Silver, through his Carousel Productions.

The news was broken by Deadline.

Carell, who recently ended a seven-season run on NBC’s “The Office”, has had an up-and-down film career since he first made a splash as a leading man with Judd Apatow’s “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” in 2005. Indeed, for every success like “Date Night” or this summer’s “Crazy, Stupid Love”, the actor has been plagued with a commercial stinker like “Evan Almighty” or “Dinner for Schmucks”. Hopefully for Carell, “Conviction” (which will presumably undergo a title change) will end up falling into the former category.