The brain trust behind Cartman, Stan, Kyle, Kenny and those other scatological paper cutouts are pulling some strings for their next project.
South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are joining forces with producer Scott Rudin ( The Hours ) and Paramount Pictures to make Team America , a spoof that will use marionettes to lampoon the war on terrorism, mindless action movies and celebrities, according to the Hollywood trades.
Sounds like par for the course for the duo that sent Saddam Hussein to hell in South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut and satirized President Bush on their short-lived comedy series, That's My Bush! .
"We will be sophisticated and employ all modern technology," Rudin tells Variety . "We have gone well beyond the paper cutouts used in the last movie. Here the entire cast will be made of wood!"
The movie will be a reunion of sorts, as Parker and Stone first collaborated with Rudin and the studio on their 1999 South Park feature.
The plot reportedly revolves around a classic action-hero good guy, who's tapped to help Team America fight the baddies of the world. Along the way, the flick will poke fun at everything from America's foreign policy to some "super important huge movies" made by big-shot producers like Jerry Bruckheimer.
That's according to Stone, who dreamed up the movie with Parker after being inspired by the decidedly low-tech puppet-fied cult British TV series Thunderbirds , as well as some over-the-top action flicks.
"I hate all these new Hollywood films that are CGI-driven. Trey and I loved that Thunderbirds series because of the artistry of the marionettes," Stone tells Variety , before taking a potshot at Universal Pictures, which is adapting Thunderbirds but is chucking the marionettes.
"It's amazing that a studio would make a movie out of it and take out the only thing that was good about the series," he says.
Team America evolved from another puppet-based project the duo had on the drawing board.
"It started when we got snuck a script of The Day After Tomorrow , that Roland Emmerich movie about how global warming causes an ice age in two days," says Stone. "It's the kind of script where you know it's going to make hundreds of millions of dollars, which makes it the greatest dumb script ever."
"We planned to secretly shoot that movie with puppets, word for word, and release it on the same day. We thought that would have been hilarious, but our lawyer convinced us we wouldn't get it released."
But the lawyer hasn't kept the two from some potential bridge-burning.
Says Parker in Variety : "We hate those actors who take themselves so seriously and think they are a productive and important part of society. The subtle joke here is that all actors are puppets. This will probably piss off everyone in town--and might well be our swan song."
But he doesn't have to knock on wood just yet. In case Hollywood does revoke Parker and Stone's movie-making card, the two jokemeisters won't be out on the mean streets of Tinseltown right away.
Their South Park , which celebrated its 100th twisted episode in April, has been renewed by Comedy Central through at least 2005.
[ source: E! ]