Sacha Baron Cohen is shopping a comedy pitch with “Seinfeld” writers Alec Berg, Jeff Schaffer and David Mandel
• Jack Nicholson has been offered one of the lead roles in "LASt VEGAS," a baby boomer comedy from CBS Films that is described as a cross between "Grumpy Old Men" and "The Hangover," reports Vulture.
Peter Chelsom ("Serendipity") is attached to direct the project, which Laurence Mark is producing.
Dan Fogelman ("Cars," "Bolt") wrote the script, which follows four semi-retired estranged childhood friends from Coney Island who reunite in Vegas to finally marry off Billy, a successful lawyer and lifelong playboy of the group, who Vulture suggests could be played by Nicholson. Conflict arises when Billy and one of his friends, a widower, begin vying for the affections of the same lounge singer. There’s no word on who will play the film’s leading lady.
Vulture goes on to speculate which older actors could possibly be cast as the four friends, including Nicholson’s "Bucket List" co-star Morgan Freeman, Richard Jenkins and the currently retired Gene Hackman.
TheWrap has been tracking Freeman’s involvement in the project, as the latest issue of Production Weekly claims that the Oscar-winning actor is in talks to play Archibald "Archie" Clay. Freeman’s representation at CAA says there is no truth to that rumor, but CBS Films admits that Freeman has been mentioned for a role, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering there are only a handful of older actors who carry much commercial clout.
I have to confess that while I thought parts of "The Bucket List" were fairly treacly, I actually liked the movie overall, and got a kick out of watching Nicholson and Freeman bicker in front of several obvious green-screens meant to pass for actual locations. "The Bucket List" grossed $175 million on a $45 million production budget, so clearly there’s a large audience out there for geriatric comedies with big stars.
• Oscar-winning screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie will reunite with director Bryan Singer for the fantasy-adventure tentpole "Jack the Giant Killer," according to the Hollywood Reporter. The duo previously worked together on "The Usual Suspects" and "Valkyrie."
McQuarrie is writing the current draft of the film, which follows a young farmer who must rescue a kidnapped princess by leading a dangerous expedition into a kingdom of giants. Mark Bomback and Darren Lemke wrote previous drafts of the script.
Original Films principal Neil Moritz is producing with "Wedding Crashers" director David Dobkin. Singer will soon begin casting the film, which shoots this summer in England.
I’ve enjoyed Singer and McQuarrie’s collaborations — yes, including "Apt Pupil," which the latter had an uncredited hand in — and "Jack the Giant Killer" must be a special project for Singer since he was willing to stick with it despite the fact that Fox has offered him big bucks to resuscitate the "X-Men" franchise that he started in 2000.
• Sacha Baron Cohen and "Seinfeld" writers Alec Berg, Jeff Schaffer and David Mandel have been pitching a comedy to studios with the help of WME, reports Deadline.
Details about the project are scarce, but the foursome will likely score a big payday if they can find a buyer, which shouldn’t be a problem with Baron Cohen attached to the pitch.
Some bloggers have questioned whether Baron Cohen is a one-hit wonder since "Bruno" failed to replicate the phenomenal success of "Borat," but "Bruno" was no slouch itself, grossing nearly $140 million worldwide on a reported $42 million production budget. With Baron Cohen starring in Martin Scorsese‘s 3D "Hugo Cabret" movie, it’s safe to say that he’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
Berg, Schaffer and Mandel currently serve as the executive producers of HBO’s "Curb Your Enthusiasm," which will return in 2011 for a 10-episode eighth season. The trio previously worked on the movies "EuroTrip" and "The Cat in the Hat."