While the success of “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” has certainly helped raise the stock of its star, Jim Carrey, it’s also turned the film’s creative consultant, Steve Oedekerk, into one of the busiest writers in town.
Not only has Oedekerk just been hired to pen the sequel to Morgan Creek’s surprise box office hit, but in the space of two weeks, the former “In Living Color” scribe has also been hired to write two other feature projects, “Furious George” at Warner Bros. and “Patch Adams” at Universal. The deals underscore the trend of TV writers turning with success to feature films.
While financial details of the three writing deals were not disclosed by his team of handlers who put the pic pacts together — William Morris’ Rob Carlson, manager Scott Howard and attorney David Colden — it is understood that Oedekerk will receive about $ 200,000 for his services on each project.
All three deals contain clauses whereby Oedekerk, who is also adirector, actor and standup comedian, might appear in the films if there are appropriate roles.
First up for Oedekerk will be the “Ace Ventura” sequel, with both Morgan Creek and Warner Bros. anxious to mine additional Jim Carrey gold.
According to Oedekerk, he and Carrey will do some work together on the project, subject to Carrey’s availability. The writer said Morgan Creek hopes to get into production on the sequel by January.
Next for Oedekerk will be the rewrite of “Furious George” for “The Fugitive” producer Arnold Kopelson at Warners.
Originally written by Ben Schwartz, the dysfunctional comedy is described by Oedekerk as a “War of the Roses” between two brothers — one a successful architect, the other a jailed explosives expert who blows himself out of prison and goes to L.A. to detonate his brother’s buildings.
In “Patch Adams,” Oedekerk’s other assignment, the scripter will work with producers Mike Farrel, Marvin Minoff and Barry Kemp at Universal. The production trio approached Oedekerk about doing a film on the exploits of Adams, a real-life doctor who goes up against the medical establishment. After developing the story, it was pitched by the writer and set up at Universal under the supervision of Universal executive Hal Lieberman.
Oedekerk said the real-life Adams runs a medical clinic in West Virginia, where he doesn’t charge for his services.
Oedekerk has several other projects in development, including “Single White Family,” which he rewrote for producer Lee Rich at Warner Bros. Originally written by Patricia Kroft Pritchard and Andrew Dobay, the spoof, about a family that escapes the horrors of the city only to find more horrors in the country, is currently out to directors.
Oedekerk also sold the spec script “Nothing to Lose” to Bregman/Baer Prods. a year ago. Described as “48 HRS.” meets “Midnight Run,” the filmis being developed for manager Michael Bregman’s client, “Spic-O-Rama” star John Leguizamo.