EXCLUSIVE: Johnny Knoxville has come attached to star in Sick Day, the comedy that Jeremy Garelick will direct for Universal Pictures. Jordan Cahan will rewrite the script originated by Garelick, the latter of whom picked Cahan because he is busy in postproduction on The Wedding Ringer, his directorial debut for Screen Gems. Brian Grazer is producing the comedy for Imagine Entertainment alongside Kim Roth. Edward Bates will also produce under his Bates Entertainment banner.
In what is a modern-day Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Knoxville will play one of three thirtysomething friends who uphold a tradition of calling in sick one day a year to fulfill fantasies while not getting caught. He is the first actor in the fold. I still can remember at Variety, being the first journalist to see and write about his absolutely shocking home movie shot by Jeff Tremaine and Spike Jonze that became the template for Jackass, where Knoxville subjected himself to the most medieval forms of abuse, capped by being shot with a handgun while wearing a cheap bulletproof vest. So forgive me if I get a little misty as my little Johnny gets another big studio starring role, where they have stuntmen, and he doesn’t have to get paintballed or gored by a bull or have his nut sack throttled in the many indignities he subjected himself to during his run as Jackass star. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The Break-Up scribe Jeremy Garelick has come aboard New Line’s reboot of the Police Academy franchise that launched in the 1980s and spanned seven films through the mid-’90s. The comedy, once again produced by Paul Maslansky, picks up the tale of a group of bumbling police recruits. David Diamond and David Weissman wrote the most recent draft.
Garelick, who did extensive rewrites on The Hangover, is separately rewriting Sick Day for Universal and Imagine. He’s attached to direct that film. Police Academy will be directed by Scott Zabielski, who’s making his feature debut after helming TV episodes that include Tosh.O. Garelick’s repped by UTA and Principato-Young, while Zabielski is repped by UTA and Underground.
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures is in early talks with Jason Bateman to star with Vince Vaughn in The Insane Laws, a comedy that will mark the feature directorial debut of screenwriter Jeremy Garelick. Universal picked up the project in March after Sony Pictures put it into turnaround. Neal Moritz and his Original Film banner is still producing it, and Vaughn has been eyeing it for some time. He and Garelick have been close since Garelick co-write the Vaughn-starrer The Break-Up. Garelick also did uncredited script work on The Hangover. The plan is for Bateman and Vaughn to play longtime best friends, who’ve shared everything, from college to the time both got married and had kids at the same time. Cut to when those kids are away at college, and, unbeknownst to their parents, falling in love. The best friend relationship is sorely tested when the daughter of Vaughn’s character gets pregnant. The actors just did a read-through of the material, and it could be in production by the fall. Studio is high on Bateman after he starred with Ryan Reynolds in the David Bobkin-directed role-changing comedy The Change-Up, which opens Aug. 5. CAA and 3 Arts rep Bateman, while UTAnd Principato-Young rep Garelick.
EXCLUSIVE: Michael Jackson, who reportedly earned $275 million posthumously over the past year for his estate, isn’t slowing down anytime soon. I’m told that GK Films is in active negotiations to acquire a package for a film that is being fashioned around his groundbreaking hit song Thriller. The film, which has been quietly shopped over the past several weeks by Real Effects Entertainment, has Kenny Ortega attached to direct, and The Hangover scribe Jeremy Garelick to write the screenplay. While GK is in the driver’s seat, I’m told that Fox 2000, Mandate/Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment are all in the mix on what will shape up as a pricey rights deal, but which will turn out to be a film budgeted at under $50 million. Plot is being kept under wraps but I understand it has to do with the song’s folklore, involving Vincent Price and the town he grew up in. All of this deal making is subject to a deal being completed with Jackson’s estate, but that has been in the works for some time and is expected to be sealed. Thriller songwriter Rod Temperton is also in the mix. On top of the Thriller deal, I’ve heard that Cirque du Soleil is in talks to do two live shows based on Jackson’s music, and that Montecito partners Ivan Reitman and Tom Pollock are looking to do a feature about Jackson’s younger years. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Screenwriter Jeremy Garelick has closed two deals. He’ll adapt for 20th Century Fox the Jane Heller novel An Ex To Grind as a star vehicle for Cameron Diaz and Benicio Del Toro. Garelick has separately been signed by Universal Pictures to direct Hassle Man, a comedy that will be written by Eli Jorne and Reed Agnew
Garelick, who cowrote The Break-Up and did uncredited rewrite work for Todd Phillips on The Hangover, has been gearing himself to direct since he was Joel Schumacher’s assistant and directed second unit on Veronica Guerin. Making the leap from scribe to director isn’t easy, and Garelick helped his own cause by spending $25,000 and calling in every favor he could to film a six-minute scene from The Pretender, a script he set up at Universal.
“I was sitting on the set of The Hangover, watching that happen when I thought, why not show Universal I can direct,” Garelick said. “I’d been involved in six movies from start to finish, worked with Joel on four films and learned from Peyton Reed on The Break-Up, Todd Phillips on The Hangover, and I saw what to do.” He got Hot Tub Time Machine‘s Craig Robinson, The Hangover‘s Ken Jeong, Paula Patton and Jonathan Goldsmith, the latter of whom is better known as “the most interesting man in the world” in the Dos Equis beer commercials. They spent a day shooting at a boxing ring. While Garelick has been … Read More »