Spelling Bee Tony Winner Fogler Stars in "Balls of Fury," in Movie Theatres Aug. 29

News   Spelling Bee Tony Winner Fogler Stars in "Balls of Fury," in Movie Theatres Aug. 29 Dan Fogler, the Tony Award winner from The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, gets wide-angle exposure — playing a ping-pong champ — in the Aug. 29 release of "Balls of Fury," the new feature film comedy.

Set "in the unsanctioned, underground and unhinged world of extreme Ping-Pong, the competition is brutal and the stakes are deadly," according to Rogue Pictures, which is releasing the movie written by Thomas Lennon & Robert Ben Garant ("Night at the Museum," "Reno 911!"). The film is directed by Garant.

Fogler won a 2005 Best Featured Actor in a Musical Tony Award for his turn as William Barfee in the quirky comedy about misfit kids (all played by adult actors) competing in a spelling bee. Agents and casting directors put him on their must-see list. The Broadway production continues without Fogler at the Circle in the Square Theatre.

In "Balls of Fury," "down-and-out former professional Ping-Pong phenom Randy Daytona (Tony Award winner Dan Fogler) is sucked into this maelstrom when FBI Agent Rodriguez (George Lopez) recruits him for a secret mission," according to production notes. "Randy is determined to bounce back and recapture his former glory, and to smoke out his father's (Robert Patrick) killer — one of the FBI's Most Wanted, arch-fiend Feng (Academy Award winner Christopher Walken).

"But after two decades out of the game, Randy can't turn his life around and avenge his father's murder without a team of his own. He calls upon the spiritual guidance of blind Ping-Pong sage and restaurateur Wong (James Hong), and the training expertise of Master Wong's wildly sexy niece Maggie (Maggie Q), both of whom also have a dark history with Feng. All roads lead to Feng's mysterious jungle compound and the most unique Ping-Pong tournaments ever staged. There, Randy faces such formidable players as his long-ago Olympics opponent, the still-vicious Karl Wolfschtagg (played by writer-actor Lennon). Can Randy keep his eye on the balls? Will he achieve the redemption he craves while wielding a paddle? Is his backhand strong enough to triumph over rampant wickedness?"

Rogue Pictures, Intrepid Pictures and Spyglass Entertainment present the Barber/Birnbaum production. Producer Jonathan Glickman stated, "Several actors were interested in playing Randy Daytona, but we had to find someone who was a terrific comic actor but who would also jell with an ensemble."

The producers were seeking someone "highly physical, intelligent, and charming."

Fogler said in production notes, "I'm a big fan of Ben and Tom's work on 'The State' and 'Reno 911!' 'Balls of Fury' has so many elements of the movies I love, like 'Rocky,' 'The Karate Kid,' and especially 'Enter the Dragon.' My character is an underdog who goes on a heroic journey."

"Dan, in his Broadway show, gave as funny a performance as we've ever seen, so we knew he'd be very funny in our movie," stated Garant. "He was also very accommodating, considering how many pairs of shorts we made him wear."