EXCLUSIVE: Chris Columbus is negotiating to become attached to direct The Secret Lives of Road Crews, an action comedy script by Kevin Lund and T.J. Scott about a clandestine group of road crew workers who are the last line of defense against a subterranean alien race. The script was originally bought as a spec by DreamWorks for producer Hal Lieberman several years ago, and it was one of the projects that former DreamWorks production president Adam Goodman brought with him to Paramount when those studios divorced. Lieberman is the producer, and Craig Mazin was brought in to do a rewrite. Goodman pitched it to Columbus and they are negotiating right now, but he has quietly been working on it. They are out to writers to get another pass on the script. Brad Weston had also been a producer on the project, but he will likely move to executive producer after taking the CEO post at New Regency. Columbus last directed Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, and his 1492 just produced the hit DreamWorks film The Help. He’s repped by WME.
FX Nabs Rights To ‘Hangover Part II’
In a move that seems to be about commerce as much as comedy, Warner Bros has started the process on a third installment of The Hangover. Though my sources say there are no deals and that the players involved won’t really get cracking on it for months, it seems likely that Craig Mazin will be writing the three-quel. Reports are surfacing based on an interview he did to promote the film; others involved have hinted at the third pic as well. While Mazin doesn’t have a deal, after Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures just announced that the comedy crossed the $200 million worldwide mark and became the fastest comedy to surpass that number, developing the third film seems inevitable. The picture also blew past the Memorial Day weekend record for an R rated film.
Warner Bros hasn’t announced it’s going for three, and the timing of this film actually took longer than the last one: The Hangover Part II was commissioned before the original picture opened, because test audiences responded so well that Warner Bros knew it had a big hit. Now, there are hurdles to overcome. Warner Bros threatened to scrap The Hangover Part II because of salary disputes with stars Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms. Those guys were paid less than $1 million collectively to star in the first blockbuster, but luckily for the cast, they had no options for a sequel. Their reps smartly dug their heels in, and the trio each got around $5 million against 4% of gross, which ought to mean pretty good backend paydays for The Wolf Pack.