Jason Sudeikis Joins 'Son Of Zorn' & You Should Be Excited For This New FOX Comedy
We're about to enter the last month of summer, which means it's time to start gearing up for that most exciting time of year: the fall television season! In September, all the networks will roll out their brand new crop of shows. Sure, most of those series won't live past their freshman year... but hidden amongst them may very well be the next Empire. In advance of their presentation at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour next Thursday, FOX has announced the full casting for their upcoming comedy Son Of Zorn , which will star Jason Sudeikis.
The former Saturday Night Live cast member — who will also appear in this fall's romantic comedy Sleeping With Other People alongside Community's Alison Brie — stars as the titular Zorn, an "animated fantasy warrior" who "finds that reconnecting with his estranged live-action son and ex-wife while suffering through a mundane office job and the banality of suburban life is harder than waging war in his distant, animated homeland." Indeed; if I had to choose between an epic fantasy battle and a mind-numbing 9-to-5 job, I know which one I'd pick.
Here are a few very good reasons to be excited for FOX's Son Of Zorn:
1. Phil Lord & Chris Miller
Usually, the well-known leading man would be the number one reason to get pumped about a new show. But this time, the leading man isn't the only reason, because Son Of Zorn is being brought to us by the comedic duo of Phil Lord and Chris Miller — and they're totally stealing Sudeikis' thunder. While they may not be household names yet, the writing and directing pair are well on their way. Starting off with the animated Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs and its sequel, then gaining notice with their reboot of the 21 Jump Street franchise with Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, Lord and Miller rocketed to acclaimed with last year's The Lego Movie.
Not content to rest on their brick-shaped laurels, the duo followed up that blockbuster by creating The Last Man On Earth, FOX's midseason sleeper hit starring Will Forte, and signed on to participate in three of Hollywood's hottest franchises right now: Star Wars (they'll direct 2018's untitled young-Han-Solo spinoff), the D.C. Cinematic Universe (they'll write 2018's superhero movie The Flash ), and Spider-Man (they'll write and possibly direct Sony's 2018 animated movie about the webslinger).
2. Jason Sudeikis
OK, now it's time for the requisite shout-out to Sudeikis. Since the SNL actor will be portraying an animated character, it's unknown how much — if ever — we'll actually be seeing his face. It's fitting, then, that this is only his second regular TV gig since leaving NBC's sketch comedy series, following his role on The Cleveland Show, where he voiced both personal trainer Holt and cable guy Terry. He has also guest starred on the likes of 30 Rock, It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Portlandia, and Lord and Miller's own The Last Man On Earth (on which he cameoed in the Season 1 finale as Phil's brother, stranded above the planet in a spaceship).
Of course, when he's not dropping by all your favorite comedies, Sudeikis is hitting it big on the big screen, in the likes of Horrible Bosses, The Campaign, and We're The Millers. He'll continue putting his voice talents to good use in next year's animated feature-length-app-spinoff The Angry Birds Movie.
3. Cheryl Hines
Zorn's live-action ex-wife Edie will be played by Hines, the Emmy-nominated Curb Your Enthusiasm actress who most recently starred on ABC's dearly departed sitcom Suburgatory. Somehow, flesh-and-blood Edie and two-dimensional Zorn gave rise to a son named Alan, who will be played by Johnny Pemberton.
4. Tim Meadows
You may know Edie's live-in boyfriend, Craig, as principal Ron Duvall — and anyone who didn't grow up watching Mean Girls at least once per week (are there such people?) may know the comedian as one of Saturday Night Live's longest-running cast members (he appeared on 10 seasons of the show from 1991-2000). He also appeared alongside co-star Hines in a few episodes of Suburgatory, and he played one of Casey Wilson's two dads in last year's sitcom Marry Me. (The remainder of the main cast will be rounded by Artemis Pebdani — aka Scandal's Vice President Susan Ross — as Zorn's boss, Linda.)
5. A Fresh Concept
Lord and Miller hit FOX last year with one unique concept: a post-apocalyptic comedy with a purported one-man cast. (Of course, they quickly exploded this concept much wider than advertised.) Now, for the second year in a row, they look to be providing the network with a fresh idea. Although some people may be quick to compare Son Of Zorn to other known properties — Entertainment Weekly is already dubbing it as Who Framed Roger Rabbit meets Conan The Barbarian — the important thing is that there's really nothing else like it on TV right now. Of course, that doesn't mean it's going to be a surefire hit, but at least some people are still trying new things, right? And coming from Lord and Miller, it probably will be a hit.
(As long as we're playing the comparison game, Son Of Zorn feels to me more like Ready Player One meets The Incredibles; combining the former's zany real-life/animated action blend with the former's "superheroic people in mundane office jobs" humor.)
Images: Getty Images (4); Walt Disney Productions