The Breakout Star Of Sundance 2008 Is ... Steve Coogan?

Last we heard from Steve Coogan, Courtney Love (of all people) was throwing him under the bus for being a bad influence on Owen Wilson. But now that Hamlet 2 has sold for a whopping (and probably ludicrous) $10 million to Focus Features at Sundance, Steve Coogan has officially rebounded from scoundrel to star status. While it may be too early to proclaim him to be the next Mr. Bean (who, by our humble estimation, is the last British comedian to break here Stateside), his starring role in what may turn out to be this year's Park City standout can't do anything but help raise the British comedian's rep from the murky depths of tabloid hell.

Playing the tried-and-true role of bleeding-heart teacher (perfected already by Michelle Pfeiffer first in Dangerous Minds and Ryan Gosling in Half Nelson), Coogan's annoyingly named character Mr. Marschz will save his drama department by writing a sequel to Hamlet. Judging by the dearth of updated Shakesperean knee-slappers in the last decade of cinema (does 10 Things I Hate About You count?), we're not really sure how Coogan pulls this off, but we are hoping for a Courtney cameo in which she slithers onto the stage of the inevitable High School Musical-like finale and whispers "Oh what a rogue and peasant slave am I!" in her crackheadiest voice.