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Jason Bateman To Direct, Star In FBI Wedding Comedy For Universal

By | Friday June 27, 2014 @ 11:43am PDT

Jason Bateman To Direct, Star In FBI Wedding Comedy For UniversalJason Bateman has inked a deal with Universal to star in and direct the Untitled FBI Wedding Comedy, marking his third film as director after debut Bad Words and the upcoming The Family Fang. David Flebotte and Phil Alden Robinson wrote the initial script, which David Bar Katz (The Pest) has been tapped to rewrite. Bateman’s about to dive into production on Family Fang next month in New York City and stars in that pic opposite Nicole Kidman and Christopher Walken. He’ll next be seen in This Is Where I Leave You in September and Horrible Bosses 2 in November, both for Warner Bros. Bateman and James Garavente will produce the FBI wedding project for their Aggregate Films banner. Bob Cooper will also produce for his Landscape Entertainment shingle. Kristin Lowe and Sara Scott are overseeing for Uni. Read More »

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Gravitas Snags Jason Bateman-Olivia Wilde Comedy ‘The Longest Week’

By | Wednesday June 25, 2014 @ 11:05am PDT

Gravitas Snags Jason Bateman-Olivia Wilde Comedy ‘The Longest Week’Gravitas Ventures has acquired Manhattan-set comedy The Longest Week, starring Jason Bateman as Conrad, the spoiled 40-year-old heir to a hotel fortune who is cut off from his allowance after his parents’ divorce. Crashing with old friend Dylan (Billy Crudup), he immediately falls for Dylan’s girlfriend Beatrice (Olivia Wilde) and falls headlong into an existential reflection as he tries to keep their relationship and his bank balance secret. Obvious Child‘s Jenny Slate also stars in the pic which marks writer-director Peter Glanz’s debut. Glanz adapted The Longest Week from his own Cannes and Sundance short A Relationship In Four Days. Gravitas has set a September 5 theatrical and VOD debut for the film, which has been likened to the Manhattan-set relationship comedies of Woody Allen, Whit Stillman, and Wes Anderson. YRF Entertainment financed The Longest Week and produced in association with Armian Pictures, Atlantic Pictures, and Far Hills. YRF’s Uday Chopra produced with Neda Armian. Jonathan Reiman, Chris Marsh, Stone Douglass, and Taylor Materne executive produced.

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Tribeca: Jason Bateman To Narrate LEGO Docu ‘Beyond The Brick’

By | Tuesday April 1, 2014 @ 1:40pm PDT

Jason Bateman lego movieJason Bateman has come aboard to narrate LEGO docu Beyond The Brick: A LEGO Brickumentary, which will make its debut this month at the Tribeca Film Festival. Pic, from Oscar-winning director Daniel Junge (Saving Face) and Oscar-nominated helmer Kief Davidson (Open Heart), is the first official LEGO documentary and tracks the globally popular toy line, as well as the community of fans that have loved them for generations. Bateman recently starred in and directed comedy Bad Words and also pulls narrator duty on NBC sitcom Growing Up Fisher. Submarine is repping domestic sales on the Lego “brickumentary” while financier GEM Pictures handles international rights, using a distribution system that allows publicly listed companies to buy film rights using shares instead of cash. Beyond the Brick premieres April 20 at Tribeca.

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UPDATE: NBC Picks Up Dating Comedy Pilot From David Janollari & Jason Bateman, Lesbian Lead Comedy From Liz Feldman & Ellen DeGeneres

By | Tuesday January 28, 2014 @ 12:08pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

UPDANBC_logoTE, 12 PM: NBC has added another comedy pilot to the mix, the single-camera Two To Go, from Universal TV and studio-based David Janollari Entertainment and Jason Bateman‘s Aggregate. Written/co-exec produced by Bryan Shukoff and Kevin Chesley (The Hard Times Of RJ Berger, which Janollari developed and launched at MTV), Two To Go centers on longtime best friends Kurt and Laura, who grapple with the challenges of modern-day dating while their group of friends try and prove that they are destined to be together. Janollari, Bateman and Jim Garavente executive produce. This is Janollari’s second pilot at NBC, joining drama Salvation. Aggregate has upcoming NBC comedy series Growing Up Fisher.

lizfeldmanEllen DeGeneres NBC Lesbian PilotPREVIOUS, 9:40 AM: Sixteen years after Ellen DeGeneres came out on her ABC sitcom, another broadcast comedy with a lesbian lead is inching closer to primetime. NBC has given a pilot order to a multi-camera comedy executive produced by DeGeneres. The project, titled One Big Happy, is written/exec produced by openly gay comedy scribe Liz Feldman (2 Broke Girls). In it, a gay (woman) and straight (man) best friends decide to have a baby together, but things get complicated when the man finds the love of their life. Warner Bros TV and DeGeneres’ studio-based A Very Good Production are producing, with AVGP’s Jeff Kleeman … Read More »

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TCA: NBC’s ‘Growing Up Fisher’ Producers Not Worried About In-Olympics Promos

By | Sunday January 19, 2014 @ 11:56am PST

Growing Up Fisher key art“Cynicism be gone!” Jason Bateman told TV critics during NBC’s Q&A session for new comedy Growing Up Fisher about a kid who played a large role in helping his father cover up his blindness until dad gets a guide dog when his parents divorce.  (Watch trailer below) It’s based on the actual childhood of show creator/exec producer DJ Nash — including the pilot scene in which Dad, played by J.K. Simmons, cuts down a tree in the yard with a chainsaw while asking family members where the house is relative to the tree. Even so, TV critics at Winter TV Press Tour 2014 had trouble with the concept, and with the tone.

“Where’s the tears and the drama?” one critic asked of the pilot.  It’s a comedy.  Batemen, who exec produces and is The Voiceover Guy on the show, said they made a conscious decision to do Growing Up as a family show but with a new take and less treacle, so as to appeal to today’s maybe more cynical TV viewer.

NBC will preview Growing Up Fisher on February 23 at 10:30 PM, following the Sochi Games Closing Ceremonies. (Following the 2012 debacle when a preview of new NBC comedy Animal Practice aired before the end of the Olympics closing ceremony, Greenblatt today promised no interruption this time.) After that, it will be paired in the Tuesday 9 PM block with About A Boy, following The Voice, starting February 25.

One critic, who noted NBC’s Olympics coverage probably will include “300 promotional spots” for the show, wondered if the producers worried there would be backlash from viewers who felt the show was being “shoved down their throats.” Read More »

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Focus Features Shifts ‘Bad Words’ Release Date

By | Thursday December 19, 2013 @ 10:13am PST

Focus Features said today that Jason Bateman‘s Bad Words will bow in limited release on March 14, badwords2expand out on March 21 and open wide on March 28. On that date it will face off against Open Road’s Haunted House 2, Paramount’s Noah, Cohen Media Group’s Breathe In and Lionsgate’s Cesar Chavez. The comedy from Darko Entertainment, Aggregate Films and MXN stars Bateman in his feature directorial debut. He plays a 40-year-old Guy Trilby, who finds a loophole in the National Spelling Bee rules and enters the competition. As he dusts his preteen rivals, a reporter (Kathryn Hahn) digs into Guy’s story, and he finds himself forging an unlikely friendship with a 10-year-old boy (Rohan Chand). Allison Janney, Ben Falcone, Rachael Harris and Philip Baker Hall co-star.

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Hot Trailer: Jason Bateman’s ‘Bad Words’ Red Band

By | Monday December 9, 2013 @ 2:34pm PST

The comedy from Darko Entertainment, Aggregate Films and MXN stars Jason Bateman in his feature directorial debut. He plays a 40-year-old Guy Trilby, who finds a loophole in the National Spelling Bee rules and enters the competition. As he dusts his preteen rivals, a reporter (Kathryn Hahn) digs into Guy’s story, and he finds himself forging an unlikely friendship with a 10-year-old boy (Rohan Chand). Allison Janney, Ben Falcone, Rachael Harris and Philip Baker Hall co-star in Bad Words, which Focus Features picked up for $7 million at Toronto in September and will open in March. Here’s the NSFW red band trailer:

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Warner Bros Slots ‘This Is Where I Leave You’ For September

By | Tuesday November 26, 2013 @ 6:37pm PST

Shawn Levy‘s ensemble dramedy about a dysfunctional family reluctantly brought together for the funeral of its patriarch will hit theaters September 12, Warners said tonight. This Is Where I Leave You stars Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Jane Fonda, Rose Byrne, Ben Schwartz, Corey Stoll, Dax Shepard, Timothy Olyphant and Kathryn Hahn and was scripted by Jonathan Tropper from his 2009 book. The pic’s competition that weekend will include the Sony-Screen Gems thriller No Good Deed and the Universal comedy Search Party.

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Jason Bateman Producing Ensemble Comedy For NBC

By | Wednesday November 20, 2013 @ 6:38am PST
Nellie Andreeva

NBC has bought Two To Go, a half-hour comedy spec by writers Bryan Shukoff and Kevin Chesley (The Hard Times Of RJ Berger). The project, from Universal TV where Jason Bateman’s Aggregate Films has a first-look deal, centers on the last two singles in a group of friends moving into marriage and parenthood, navigating life and love as they Friday night barhop then Saturday morning moon bounce surrounded by kids — none of whom are their own. Aggregate Films’ Bateman and James Garavente executive produce with Shukoff and Chesley. Shukoff and Chesley, repped by CAA, Mosaic and attorney Gregg Gellman, are writing the Summer School remake at Paramount for Happy Madison. CAA-repped Aggregate Films also has comedy Wife Nanny with Spike Feresten in development at Fox and midseason NBC series Growing Up Fisher.

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Jason Bateman Set To Direct And Star With Nicole Kidman In ‘The Family Fang’

By | Friday November 1, 2013 @ 6:10pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Jason Bateman, who made an auspicious feature directorial debut with the Toronto festival smash Bad Words, next will direct Nicole Kidman in The Family Fang, the adaptation of the Kevin Wilson bestseller. Bateman will also star in the film. The script is by David Lindsay-Abaire, who adapted his Pulitzer Prize-winning play Rabbit Hole as a vehicle that got Kidman an Oscar nomination. Olympus Pictures’ Leslie Urdang and Dean Vanech will produce with Blossom Films partners Kidman and Per Saari, Aggregate Films partners Bateman and Jim Garavente, and QED International’s Bill Block.

QED will finance, and principal photography will begin next year.

The Family Fang is about a couple of performance artists who routinely sucked their kids into taking part in a variety of bizarre events. When the full-grown children return home in a state of crisis, they are unwittingly enlisted to help in the execution of a daring and mysterious final performance by their parents, who are hellbent on achieving the act of a lifetime. Their kids harbor more than a little resentment and blame the performance art for how badly their own lives have turned out.

Related: ‘Rabbit Hole’s Nicole Kidman And David Lindsay-Abaire Re-Team On ‘Family Fang’
Read More »

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‘Horrible Bosses 2′ To Be Released Thanksgiving Weekend 2014

By | Friday September 27, 2013 @ 6:02pm PDT

New Line has slated Horrible Bosses 2 for a November 26, 2014 release. It will go up against Fox’s animated pic Home that same day. The big competition that Thanksgiving weekend will be The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 which opens on November 21. Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day are set to return for the Horrible Bosses sequel with Sean Anders directing. Anders stepped in after Seth Gordon exited over the summer. The first Horrible Bosses brought in more than $200 million worldwide.

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Fox Buys Marriage Comedy From Jason Bateman & Spike Feresten

By | Thursday September 26, 2013 @ 11:41am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Arrested Development star Jason Bateman is back at Fox, this time as a producer. Bateman’s Aggregate Films is behind Wife Nanny, a multi-camera comedy from Seinfeld alum Spike Feresten, which has received a script commitment with penalty. It  follows a sports executive who secretly hires a gay best friend for his wife in a misguided attempt to improve his marriage. Universal Television, where Aggregate Films has a first-look deal, is producing, with Feresten, Bateman, Peter Morgan (Identity Thief) and Aggregate Films president, James Garavente, executive producing. Aggregate Films’ first television series, the DJ Nash comedy Growing Up Fisher starring Jenna Elfman and JK Simmons, premieres on NBC this midseason. On the film side, Aggregate’s Bad Words, directed by and starring Bateman, had a strong showing at the Toronto Film Festival, landing a $7 million deal with Focus Features after a bidding war. Bateman and Feresten are with CAA.

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TORONTO TOLDJA! Focus Acquires Jason Bateman-Directed ‘Bad Words’

Mike Fleming

Here’s the official release from Focus Features confirming Deadline’s morning scoop:

TORONTO, September 7th, 2013 – Worldwide rights to the comedy Bad Words, directed by and starring Jason Bateman, have been acquired by Focus Features for a 2014 theatrical release. Focus CEO James Schamus and co-CEO Andrew Karpen made the announcement today at the Toronto International Film Festival, where the movie is having its world premiere.

Bad Words, a Darko Entertainment/Aggregate Films/MXN production, was represented at Toronto by Creative Artists Agency and Hicks Professional Law Corporation, which made the deal with Focus at the Festival. The movie is the feature directorial debut of Mr. Bateman, who last starred in the blockbuster comedy Identity Thief and is currently an Emmy Award nominee for Arrested Development. Mr. Bateman is also a producer of the new movie through his company Aggregate, with Academy Award nominee Mason Novick (Juno) of MXN and Darko’s Sean McKittrick and Jeff Culotta. Andrew Dodge wrote the original screenplay; it is his first to be produced, and it was selected for “The Black List” in 2011.

In the movie, Mr. Bateman portrays Guy Trilby, a 40-year-old man seeking catharsis in his life. He seizes the ideal that this will come for him through…the National Spelling Bee; after discovering a loophole in the rules, Guy zealously joins the competition and easily outpaces the pre-teen field in match after match. As reporter Jenny Widgeon (Kathryn Hahn of Afternoon Delight) delves into Guy’s story, Guy finds himself forging an unlikely friendship with a competitor, awkward 10-year-old Chaitanya (Rohan Chand of Homeland), which may spell things differently for his future. Bad Words also stars Screen Actors Guild Award winner Allison Janney, Ben Falcone (Bridesmaids), Rachael Harris (The Hangover), and Philip Baker Hall (Argo).

PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, 8:48 AM: Focus Features is making a big acquisition of Bad Words, paying in the vicinity of $7 million for world rights, I’m told. It marks the first big money deal at Toronto. The film marks the directorial debut of Jason Bateman, who stars as a man who discovers a loophole in the rules of the National Spelling Bee. He dominates the pre-pubescent competition with keen spelling skills and and a propensity for trash talking. He forms an unlikely friendship with an awkward boy of Indian descent, and all the while a reporter trails him trying to find his real motivation for disrupting the spelling bee world. Read More »

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Toronto: ‘Parkland’ Premieres As Hot Kidman, Firth & Bateman Films Seek Distributors

Pete Hammond

After receiving mixed critical response in its Venice world premiere, the Kennedy assassination docudrama Parkland took on the Toronto International Film Festival and received a good response for a movie that looks at the events of that fateful day 50 years ago from several different perspectives. Those include a young surgeon operating on the fallen President in the emergency room, Lee Harvey Oswald’s brother and mother, the FBI, Abraham Zapruder and others. Nicely directed by first-timer Peter Landesman, a former New York Times reporter, the film has the sensibility of a journalist and stays close to the known facts while still illuminating. At the premiere’s afterparty at Soho House he told me, “I wanted to create a visual language in the beginning that would allow the audience to feel like what they were seeing was happening and real… I did want to take the audience by hand and bring them into an idea that what they are watching happening is actually unfolding in front of them,” said the veteran who’s covered many international wars. He dismissed potential complaints that the filmmaker might be exploiting the Kennedy tragedy, particularly on the cusp on the 50th anniversary, by explaining that the emergency room scenes were carefully thought out:”I feel like we cut a very dignified movie. To not have any sense of the violence would be to betray what the movie is about. I actually feel that the cut’s dignified. We actually had cuts in the movie that were a lot bloodier. At the end of the day we didn’t want to alienate our audience.”

Landesman said it came about when he originally wrote a screenplay about Watergate for producer Tom Hanks (who produced this film with Playtone partner Gary Goetzman and actor Bill Paxton). That script has yet to be produced. But it led to Hanks handing Landesman a Vincent Bugliosi book written about those four days in November 1963. So he worked on it and researched it for nearly five years and decided there was a movie there that nobody had ever seen. Although Hanks was busy acting on Broadway, he was very involved. “Gary was there for every frame. And Tom was intimately involved with the development of the screenplay and the casting. You know Tom. His integrity is so important, not only as a brand and a producer but Tom’s sensibilities and instincts are so important,” Landesman said. Read More »

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EMMYS Q&A: Jason Bateman

By | Tuesday August 27, 2013 @ 5:23pm PDT

Anthony D’Alessandro is Managing Editor of AwardsLine.

The growing pain of a child actor eventually building their career as an adult is often a gamble, potentially taking a toll on their personal and professional lives. But then there are triumphs such as Jason Bateman. Once a centerfold in teen magazines for his pungent personas on such NBC ‘80s sitcoms Silver Spoons and It’s Your Move, Bateman transformed into a bankable leading man in feature comedies such as Couples Retreat and Horrible Bosses, thanks in tremendous part to his role as Michael Bluth, a decent, single father who is surrounded by the idiocy of his conniving, affluent family on the Fox millennial sitcom Arrested Development. Netflix revived the show this spring with a fourth season to mixed reviews and a moderate bump in subscribers. Nonetheless, 2013 is shaping up to be a banner year for Bateman: Not only did he earn his second Emmy nomination as lead comedy actor for Arrested Development, but his first production under his Universal label Aggregate Films, Identity Thief, was a solid winter hit ($174 million global B.O.). Next week, he’ll premiere his feature directorial debut, the dark comedy Bad Words, at the Toronto film festival, in which he also stars. And in two months, he’ll begin production on Horrible Bosses 2. Bateman spoke with us about the challenges with the fourth season of Arrested Development as well as his multi-hyphenate career as a producer and actor.

Related: EMMYS: Comedy Lead Acting Handicap

AwardsLine: Why did you decide to return to Arrested Development? It’s not common for a marquee box office star in your position to return to a TV show he once headlined and make a 15 episode commitment. If you said ‘No’ the whole show might not have occurred.
Jason Bateman: Well, it’s not lost on me that this show was a rebirth for me. Without that show I’d be parking cars somewhere. There was a certain sense of wanting to do it out of loyalty as well as the fact it was one of the best jobs I ever had. So, to be able to work with all these people again and in the same capacity, it was a no brainer for me. So, I had no trepidation about it whatsoever, except for the format we were going to do. (Arrested Development creator) Mitch (Hurwitz) explained to me that it was going to be one episode per character and I thought, ‘I’m not sure that people are going to really love that.’ I’m willing to offer my services to be in every episode if you want, and if that seems budget-arily impossible, let’s not worry about that and I’ll make it work. Read More »

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EMMYS Q&A: Jason Bateman

By | Tuesday August 27, 2013 @ 5:23pm PDT

Anthony D’Alessandro is Managing Editor of AwardsLine.

The growing pain of a child actor eventually building their career as an adult is often a gamble, potentially taking a toll on their personal and professional lives. But then there are triumphs such as Jason Bateman. Once a centerfold in teen magazines for his pungent personas on such NBC ‘80s sitcoms Silver Spoons and It’s Your Move, Bateman transformed into a bankable leading man in feature comedies such as Couples Retreat and Horrible Bosses, thanks in tremendous part to his role as Michael Bluth, a decent, single father who is surrounded by the idiocy of his conniving, affluent family on the Fox millennial sitcom Arrested Development. Netflix revived the show this spring with a fourth season to mixed reviews and a moderate bump in subscribers. Nonetheless, 2013 is shaping up to be a banner year for Bateman: Not only did he earn his second Emmy nomination as lead comedy actor for Arrested Development, but his first production under his Universal label Aggregate Films, Identity Thief, was a solid winter hit ($174 million global B.O.). Next week, he’ll premiere his feature directorial debut, the dark comedy Bad Words, at the Toronto film festival, in which he also stars. And in two months, he’ll begin production on Horrible Bosses 2. Bateman spoke with us about the challenges with the fourth season of Arrested Development as well as his multi-hyphenate career as a producer and actor.

Related: EMMYS: Comedy Lead Acting Handicap

AwardsLine: Why did you decide to return to Arrested Development? It’s not common for a marquee box office star in your position to return to a TV show he once headlined and make a 15 episode commitment. If you said ‘No’ the whole show might not have occurred.
Jason Bateman: Well, it’s not lost on me that this show was a rebirth for me. Without that show I’d be parking cars somewhere. There was a certain sense of wanting to do it out of loyalty as well as the fact it was one of the best jobs I ever had. So, to be able to work with all these people again and in the same capacity, it was a no brainer for me. So, I had no trepidation about it whatsoever, except for the format we were going to do. (Arrested Development creator) Mitch (Hurwitz) explained to me that it was going to be one episode per character and I thought, ‘I’m not sure that people are going to really love that.’ I’m willing to offer my services to be in every episode if you want, and if that seems budget-arily impossible, let’s not worry about that and I’ll make it work. Read More »

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Universal Acquires ‘Family Therapy’ Pitch For Jason Bateman’s Aggregate Films

By | Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 4:19pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Jason BatemanEXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has acquired Family Therapy, a comic pitch that will be written by Jay Reiss about a dysfunctional but loving family that hires a therapist to fix their problems on the eve of an impending wedding. The studio bought the pitch for Aggregate Films. That U-based shingle, run by Jason Bateman and Jim Garavente, just teamed with Stuber Productions to produce the Universal hit Identity Thief, in which Bateman starred with Melissa McCarthy. Reiss scripted A Complete History Of My Sexual Failures for Universal, so he’s no stranger to scripting dysfunction. He also scripted the Hugh Laurie comedy The Oranges, as well as the Tony-winning musical The Twenty Fifth Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. He also is scripting League Of Princes for Fox Animation.

Universal-based Aggregate is producing Bateman’s directorial debut Bad Words, and Game Night (with Davis Entertainment) for New Line. The producers also got a green light from NBC on the DJ Nash pilot Family Guide. Reiss is repped by CAA and Mosaic.

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Hot Trailer: ‘Disconnect’

By | Friday March 1, 2013 @ 3:08pm PST

Jason Bateman, Hope Davis, Frank Grillo, Paula Patton, Michael Nyqvist, Andrea Riseborough and Alexander Skarsgård star in LD Entertainment‘s ensemble drama about the dangers of life in the digital age. Director Henry Alex Rubin, who earned an Oscar nomination for his 2005 documentary Murderball, helms his first narrative feature from a script by Andrew Stern. Mickey Liddell, Jennifer Monroe, and William Horberg produced the pic which debuted at the Toronto Film Festival. Disconnect opens in limited release April 12.

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On Eve Of ‘Identity Thief,’ Jason Bateman Sets ‘Game Night’ Pitch At New Line

By | Wednesday February 6, 2013 @ 4:23pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Jason Bateman and Jim Garavente’s Aggregrate Films and Davis Entertainment’s John Davis and John Fox have joined to produce Game Night, a comedy that was acquired by New Line Cinema from a pitch by Mark Perez. The plan is for Bateman to star in an ensemble comedy about a group of couples caught up in a very real game night. They get together regularly to play games together but on this night, things get real and it becomes a murder mystery.

New Line’s Richard Brener and Michael Disco shepherded the sale of what I’m told is a comedy in the Horrible Bosses vein. Formed last February with a two-year first look partnership at Universal Pictures and Universal TV, Aggregate has gotten a lot going in a short time. That includes Identity Thief, which stars Bateman and Melissa McCarthy and opens Friday (Bateman produced it with Scott Stuber and Pam Abdy), followed by Bad Words, a comedy Bateman just wrapped as star, producer and first-time director. On the TV side, Aggregate has teamed with executive producer DJ Nash for Then Came Elvis, a single-camera comedy pilot sold to NBC, which was just green  lit.

Perez’s scripts include Walt Disney’s The Country Bears and Universal’s Accepted and he sold his last two to Sony and Happy Madison, with both in active development.

Bateman and Perez are repped by CAA and … Read More »

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