Chris Pratt is going from guardian to mentor, as he’s set to produce and star in the karate-themed indie comedy The Black Belt.
Monarch Media is behind the coming-of-age film, which follows a shy, unassuming teen on a quest to become a karate expert, and the unorthodox uncle who guides him along the way. I assume Pratt will be playing the wacky uncle, which to be honest, sounds like a fun role for him. I don’t need to see him battling dinosaurs and space monsters in every movie, so here’s hoping he imbues his mentor character with the sweetness he brought to the role of Andy Dwyer on Parks and Recreation.
Karate has been played for dark laughs in films such as The Foot Fist Way and The Art of Self-Defense, and though The Black Belt feels less edgy than both of those movies, it may have the highest ceiling. I’ll be happy if Pratt‘s new film turns out to be even half as good as those titles, but it’ll all depend on the casting of the young boy, since the movie seems like it’ll rest on his teenage shoulders.
There’s no director attached yet, but Randall Green (Billions) wrote the script on spec, and Pratt will produce the film under his Indivisible Productions banner. Joining him will be his producing partner Jon Schumacher, as well as Monarch Media principals Steve Barnett and Alan Powell. Monarch‘s Vicky Patel will serve as an executive producer on the project, which will be shopped to buyers by UTA Independent Film Group.
A former writer on Showtime‘s hit series Billions, Green also wrote Noah Centineo‘s Netflix movie The Perfect Date, and he’s currently adapting Christopher McDougall’s Running with Sherman for the streamer. Green also had a hand in writing the LeBron James vehicle Space Jam: A New Legacy for Warner Bros.
Pratt’s Indivisible Productions has a first-look deal at Universal, where he is currently developing Saigon Bodyguards with the Russo brothers. Pratt is also set to star in the Amazon series The Terminal List, which he’ll executive produce alongside director Antoine Fuqua.