CBS sitcom stars Ray Romano and Kevin James are teaming to write and star in a comedy pic to be produced by Paramount-based Alphaville.
Untitled feature unites the longtime friends, who have helped boost CBS ratings with hit skeins “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “The King of Queens.” Neither has worked in feature films.
While Par frequently scores with pics based on properties developed by cousin cable nets Nickelodeon and MTV, this project reps the first major bid to blend film and broadcast assets under the new CBS-Viacom banner.
“We are very happy to play a role in the corporate effort,” said Alphaville producer-partner Sean Daniel. “But we went after this because we think it has the makings of an audience-pleasing comedy.”
Daniel added, “What appealed to us most is the fact that Ray and Kevin are truly funny guys with tremendous chemistry.”
There is one catch to the project: Given the rigors of TV production, the plan is to shoot the film during next spring’s hiatus. But that sked could back-burner the pic, as possible guild strikes may postpone any title not before cameras by April 1.
Stars and scribes
Romano and James developed the initial idea and brought it to Alphaville. They already have started writing, and a third, unidentified scribe is slated to join them on the initial draft.
Daniel declined to divulge plot details, saying only that the pic lets Romano and James “go further than they can go on TV. It’s a very hilarious, romantic, real-life comedy.”
Pic will be produced by Daniel, fellow Alphaville partner Jim Jacks, Rory Rosegarten and Jeff Sussman. Alphaville production prexy Cotty Chubb will exec produce.
William Morris packaged Alphaville, Romano, James, Rosegarten and Sussman. Latter two manage Romano and James, respectively.