Lembeck grabs ‘Knees’

He'll helm romantic comedy for Village Roadshow, Punch Prods

Emmy-winning director Michael Lembeck is set to direct the romantic comedy “Knees of a Cellist” for Village Roadshow Pictures and Dustin Hoffman’s Punch 21 Prods.

Hoffman and Punch Prods.’ Lee Gottsegen, Murray Schisgal and Jay Cohen will produce the film under Punch’s deal with Australia’s Village Roadshow, which will finance the film and market it internationally.

Pic was scripted by Matthew Carnahan from his play about a young male psychiatrist who, after his cellist girlfriend breaks up with him, takes her and her parents hostage. He then forces them into family therapy in hopes of treating the woman’s dysfunctional feelings about relationships.

Pending casting, “Knees” is expected to go before the cameras this fall.

Carnahan’s play originally had been optioned by MGM and at one time had John Schlesinger attached to direct.

Lembeck, who makes his feature debut with “Knees,” built a career on the small screen as an actor, but has become best-known as a director of such hit TV shows as “Mad About You,” “Friends,” “Ellen,” “NewsRadio” and “L.A. Law.”

Lembeck is repped by Endeavor.

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