TriStar Pix cooking up ‘Hot’ deal

TriStar Pictures has taken a swing at scribes Christopher Reed and Cynthia Carle’s comic pitch “Hot” for low six figures against mid-six figures, the studio confirmed Monday.

Marc Shmuger, former creative marketing exec, will produce the project under his Art of War banner based on the Sony lot.

Pic will mark a reunion of sorts for TriStar VP Ricky Strauss, who will oversee the project. Strauss worked under Shmuger when they were both creative ad execs in marketing for Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Pic, which Strauss described as “Some Like It Hot” meets ‘Sister Act,” is about an African-American male lounge singer forced to impersonate a famous — and long retired — female torch singer to avoid entanglement with a crime he witnessed.

“It’s a very broad buddy comedy with great mainstream potential, again like ‘Sister Act,’ ” Strauss said.

Project was brought to Shmuger through Art of War development director David Baird. David Klawans will exec produce. Sandy Gartin will produce along with Shmuger.

Klawans acquired the rights to the true story of Hilton Williams, who impersonated a female rhythm and blues singer in the late 1980s in the Southeast, upon whom the story is loosely based.

Reed and Carle’s other feature credit is “The Sixth Man,” which came out earlier this year from Disney.

Valerie Phillips at Paradigm brokered the deal for the pitchers, who were also repped by manager Andrea Simon.

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