Fresh off her acclaimed performance in Nope, Keke Palmer will star in and produce The Backup, a new comedy from Universal. Actor-comedian Kevin Hart will also produce. The Hollywood Reporter has the news that Palmer is attached to star in The Backup as Alyssa, childhood best friend to playboy Ben.
In the film, she reveals to Ben that she’s engaged to a stylish billionaire, and wants Ben to be her best man…just as Ben’s about to reveal that he loves her and wants to finally settle down with her. Instead, Ben takes his crew to Maui for her destination wedding, determined to show up Alyssa’s fiancé and win her back. A director has yet to be attached to the project; the script is by actor Chris Brew (Black-ish, Being Mary Jane, Insecure), and Jordan Gouveia; both worked together on the miniseries The Elements.
Palmer began her career as a child actor, appearing in Barbershop 2: Back in Business, True Jackson, VP, and Akeelah and the Bee; her performance in the latter earned her an NAACP Image Award. She subsequently starred in the Ryan Murphy horror series Scream Queens and the Epix espionage drama Berlin Station, and had prominent supporting roles in Joyful Noise and Hustlers, before a breakout 2022 where she starred in Jordan Peele‘s sci-fi satire Nope, the revenge thriller Alice, and Pixar‘s Lightyear. To cap off the year, she hosted Saturday Night Live in December, and revealed that she’s expecting her first child. She can next be seen alongside Sacha Baron Cohen in David O. Russell‘s Super Toys, and as part of the ensemble cast of Aziz Ansari‘s directorial debut Being Mortal; she is also developing Unfriendly Black Hotties, a satirical high school series for HBO Max. She is also a singer; her debut album, So Uncool, was released in 2007.
The Backup will be produced by Hart and Bryan Smile of Hartbeat Productions; they have produced a number of Hart‘s recent productions, including Night School, The Man From Toronto, and this year’s Die Hart. Palmer and her mother, Sharon Palmer, will produce via Palmer’s production company Big Boss Entertainment. Autumn Bailey-Ford (On a Wing and a Prayer, Billy Knight), via Autumn Bailey Entertainment, will also produce. Hartbeat’s Patricia Braga and Kayla Stamps will executive produce.
The Backup is currently in development. Stay tuned to Collider for future updates.