Date schools are an idea whose time has come, in Hollywood at least.
Like Janis Joplin, boxing legends and the Cuban Missile Crisis, date schools are the subject of competing projects now in development around town.
DreamWorks has purchased rights to Daryl Chen’s Mademoiselle article “I Went to Date School” for Bandeira Entertain-ment to develop and produce as a romantic comedy.
The story profiles First Impressions, a New York consulting service that sets up clients on a simulated rendezvous and then critiques their dating skills.
The project has generated interest from a number of writers and Bandeira execs Beau Flynn and Jane Park hope to sign a scribe in the next few weeks.
Meanwhile, Danny DeVito’s Jersey Films has snapped up the film rights to First Impressions itself, and a book proposal by the two psychologists who founded it. Jersey’s interest also was spurred by the Mademoiselle piece.
Jennifer Gates Hayes of the Zachary Shuster Literary Agency was putting together a book proposal based on the Ph.D.s’ dating secrets when the production company made a bid for the film rights.
Meanwhile, “Wild Things” producer Rodney Liber is shopping the spec script “Date School.”
Penned by Alan Haft, the script focuses on a high school nerd who, on a dare, asks out the prettiest girl in school. When she unexpectedly says yes, the boy realizes he needs help and enrolls in a date school.
Haft, formerly head of James Woods’ Breakheart Films production company, is repped by ICM.
The DreamWorks execs overseeing “I Went to Date School” are Suzanne Jurva and Adam Goodman
Bandeira principals Flynn, Stefan Simchowitz and Jonathan King already have several projects set up at DreamWorks, including “Ship of Ghouls” by Jeff Welch, “Slap Her She’s French” by Lamar Damon and Robert Lee King and “Strike” by Mark Waters.