Michael Richards, who plays “Seinfeld” scene-stealer Kramer, has closed a deal with Castle Rock to star in the film “My Blockbuster.” He’ll be paid $3 million as an actor, with an extra $625,000 for the script, which he co-wrote with Steve Adams, sources said.
Richards, who recently completed a role as a schizophrenic uncle in “Unstrung Heroes,” is still looking for a film to do this summer, and he’ll star in “Blockbuster” after “Seinfeld” completes what could be its final season in 1996.
The K-man, as he’s known on “Seinfeld,” has effectively KO’d the salary structure of the burgeoning field of sitcom stars doing feature work during their vacations. “Ellen” star Ellen DeGeneres got $2.2 million to star in Touchstone’s “Mr. Wrong,” and “Frasier” star Kelsey Grammer got $2 million to star in Fox’s “Down Periscope.” Castle Rock is betting the Richards will be the next Jim Carrey, who graduated from “In Living Color” to $7 million a picture.
In “Blockbuster,” Richards will play a goofball tollbooth attendant who makes movies on the side. He falls in love with an actress and sets out to get her to do likewise by starring in a commercial he’s shooting.
“My Blockbuster” will be exec produced by Keith Addis, Nick Wechsler and Andy Cohen, Richards’ managers. The writing deal was done by Richard Arlook at Gersh, and Richards was repped by ICM’s Tracey Jacobs. The project was brought in by development veep Curtis Burch and bought by Castle Rock production president Liz Glotzer and Castle Rock Pictures president Martin Shafer.
Ironically, the two most aggressive bidders were New Line and Castle Rock, sister Turner companies. Castle Rock, which produces “Seinfeld,” was particularly aggressive in acquiring the script and keeping its sitcom family intact. “Seinfeld” co-creators Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David have a feature development deal at Castle Rock, with several scripts optioned, and the company also financed Jason Alexander’s directing debut, “For Better or Worse.”
Adams wrote with Richards and David on the ABC show “Fridays.”