Fox 2000 breathes new life into ‘Vulgarians’

Signaling hope for the various screenplays that have lost their way over the years, Fox 2000 has struck a deal with Kings Road Entertainment for the film rights to “The Vulgarians,” a project that was originally written for Paramount nearly a dozen years ago.

Penned in 1985 by Dana Olsen and Robert Collector — the former writing partners who also wrote, along with William Goldman, “Memoirs of an Invisible Man” — “The Vulgarians” had been fostered to several homes and various versions over the years.

Pic is a broad comedy about three brothers from the fictional, oppressed Eastern European country of Vulgaria, the sole nation not affected by the fall of the Berlin Wall. The brothers —whose crass behavior and lack of social skills make them standouts even in a country named for vulgarity — are forced to flee the country and move to San Francisco. In the city, they find work with their uncle, a businessman in charge of garbage collection for most of the city.

The project was brought to Fox 2000 topper Laura Ziskin by senior VP Alex Gartner, who will oversee it for the 20th Century Fox film division. The screenplay’s rights were held by Kings Road Entertainment, which had acquired the project a few years ago after it was bandied about at United Artists. Kings Road CEO Kenneth Aguado will serve as the film’s producer.

As part of the deal, Collector and Olsen have been hired to update their original screenplay, which had gone through numerous rewrites over the years. The version they’ll work from is described as a compendium of the drafts the two writers had done together.

According to Olsen — who earned a story and co-screenwriter credit for the recent release “George of the Jungle” — the script had gained a reputation over the years, “and for awhile we would refer to its coffee table appeal. People could always recall it from their early development days.”

Collector — whose other credits include “Red Heat” and “Jungle Warriors” — was repped by Norman Aladjem of the Writers and Artists Agency. Andrew Cannava of UTA repped Olsen on the deal.

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