The spec screenplay by Ike Barinholtz and Dave Stassen has been in play since at least 2011, and at one time, Galaxy Quest and Red 2 director Dean Parisot was set to take on the project for Universal Pictures. Ed Helms was attached to star, but put the breaks on the project when The Hangover became a hit, and Warner Bros. decided to movie quickly on two sequels to that comedy franchise. With his stint on The Office over, and having successfully killed The Hangover series with the latest dud installment The Hangover Part III, Ed Helms is once again returning to Central Intelligence as the lead.
The story follows a doofus accountant who is thrown into a world of international espionage after reconnecting with an old friend on Facebook. While the screenplay has seen many rewrites over the years, Rawson Marshall Thurber is charged with giving the story one final polish.