U nabs domestic rights for ‘Kissing’

Reflecting the growing studio interest in the indie world, Universal Pictures has picked up North American rights to Doug Ellin’s indie project “Kissing a Fool” for release next spring, the studio announced Tuesday.

Largo Entertainment will handle foreign. Surprisingly, U’s newly acquired indie arm October Films was not a factor in picking up the project.

Pic, co-written and directed by Ellin, stars David Schwimmer, Bonnie Hunt, Jason Lee and Mili Avital. Story is about a guy about to get married (Schwimmer) who asks his best friend (Lee) to test his fiancee (Avital) to see if she will cheat on him. Hunt is the narrator.

Tag Mendillo and Andrew Form of Mendillo/Form Prods. along with Rick Lashbrook produced. Ellin and James Frey scripted.

Pic was financed and shot last summer through Mendillo/Form. Schwimmer was available on hiatus from TV skein “Friends.” He recently completed Ivan Reitman’s “Six Days, Seven Nights” and “Apt Pupil” for Bryan Singer.

CAA agent John Ptak put the deal together for Mendillo/Form and U. CAA’s Jim Lefkowitz and Ken Stovitz repped Ellin in the negotiations with manager Steve Levinson.

Mendillo/Form previously produced the indie feature “Do Me a Favor,” starring Rosanna Arquette.

Ellin last helmed two short films starring Schwimmer, “The Waiter” and “The Pitch.”

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