Thesp to write and star in commercial comedy

David Spade will write and star in “The Adventures of Joe Dirt” for Warner Bros. that Robert Simonds (“The Waterboy”) will produce.

Spade and fellow “Saturday Night Live” alumni Fred Wolf and Matt Piedmont will write the screenplay based on an original idea by Spade.

In the pic, Spade will play Joe Dirt, a white-trash character searching for his natural parents. Warners is looking to the filmmakers to turn it into a broad, commercial comedy in the vein of “The Waterboy,” “The Wedding Singer” or “Austin Powers.”

Spade, who is pay-or-play on the pic, made the pitch to WB senior VP of production Jeff Robinov. Spade also brought on board Simonds, with whom he is collaborating on an untitled comedy at Universal, where Simonds has a first-look deal.

Spade next stars in the WB romantic comedy “Lost and Found,” which he co-wrote with Mac Meeks and J.B. Cooks. Alcon Entertainment and Dinamo Entertainment are producing.

His other credits include “Senseless,” “Tommy Boy,” “Black Sheep” and “Coneheads.” Simonds has produced “The Wedding Singer” and “Happy Gilmore,” among other pics. He is also exec producing Adam Sandler’s new film for Sony, “Big Daddy.”

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