With a preemptive bid Friday evening, Universal Pictures snapped up the rights to Jeff Nathanson’s wry comedy spec “Rodolfo” for Imagine Entertainment.
Universal paid $750,000 up front with a backend that could bring the scribe $1.25 million if certain contingencies are met. Imagine’s Brian Grazer will produce the pic, said to be in the vein of “Being There.”
Imagine co-chairman Karen Kahela championed the script for the company, bringing it to U’s Kevin Misher.
The 88-page spec tells the story of an illegal alien working in a Los Angeles car wash who wants to return to Mexico for his sister’s funeral. When he finds it harder to be deported than he thought, he steals a Mercedes and embarks on a road trip, during which he is mistaken for a prominent businessman.
Nathanson’s previous credits include “For Better or Worse” and “Speed 2: Cruise Control.” The scribe recently did a production polish on New Line Cinema’s “Rush Hour” and currently is writing “Providence” for Touchstone Pictures and director Paul Brickman (“Risky Business”).
Nathanson was repped by Andrew Cannava of UTA.