CANNES – Kevin James’ hit comedy Paul Blart: Mall Cop was always going to spawn a sequel but few would have predicted that Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 would be headlining the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop was a festival favorite on its original release and won the coveted Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. Behind the scenes, there was a frantic bidding war with rumors that the film was heading to Toronto International Film Festival, but in the end Cannes seems to have won out.
Cannes insider Xavier Poulis commented:
Many people from the USA do not understand how big Kevin James is in France. We think of him as the new Jerry Lewis even if we have to make more effort to pretend he’s funny. But still, it’s worth it, if only to confound the rest of the world.
The new film is in the final stages of post-production, but will be ready for its 13th of May premier in the deluxe Debussy Theater.
Director Andy Fickman said:
We are of course honored by the inclusion in the Cannes film festival line up which is usually light on multiplex fodder comedy.This film will not disappoint as Paul (played by Kevin James naturally) goes to Vegas with his daughter to attend a security conference and… well, he gets into what can only be described as ‘hilarious scrapes’.
Based on the original Saul Bellow novels – the so called Blart trilogy – the first film was criticized for straying far from the original story – making him a Mall Cop for instance – but director and star have recently assured the Studio Exec that this version at least will return to the excoriating bleak humor of Saul Bellow’s original conception.
The Cannes Film Festival will last from 13th to 23rd of May.