Stand-up comic Dustin Ybarra is to play Rodney in the American remake of Only Fools and Horses.
He has a smattering of credits, but his biggest break so far is a small role in the comedy drama We Bought a Zoo starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson. It’s set to open in UK cinemas on 16 March.
Ybarra is still a relatively new face on the stand-up comedy circuit, too. He once appeared on the TV series Live at Gotham and was a finalist in 2009’s Funniest Dallas Comic competition.
This could be good. It seems the producers of the American show are looking to catch a star on the rise. The casting worked for Nicholas Lyndhurst in the original BBC series as he was, at the the time, less well known than David Jason who starred as Del Boy.
The new pairing of veteran and newbie is already complete with last week’s announcement that John Leguizamo will play Del Boy. The 47-year-old actor is Hollywood’s go-to Latino gangster with film credits including Baz Luhrmann’s ‘in the hood’ version of Romeo + Juliet and Carlito’s Way.
His street credentials echo the official pitch, which describes the show as centred on “two streetwise brothers [who] concoct outrageous, morally questionable get-rich-quick schemes in their quest to become millionaires.”
It may not be the sitcom we know and love, but it has the key elements. And with the original series running for 22 years, this is hardly a case of flogging a dead horse.