Dennie Gordon is in negotiations to helm Columbia Pictures laffer, “The Adventures of Joe Dirt.”
Gordon, recently feted with a Directors Guild of America award for her work helming HBO’s musical variety show “Tracey Takes On …,” has helmed numerous episodes of the David E. Kelley skeins “Ally McBeal” and “The Practice” as well as the Alan Sorkin laffer, “Sports Night.”
Pic was picked up out of turnaround from Warner Bros. with a bevy of former “Saturday Night Live” talent and writers.
David Spade will topline as a naive young man who recounts on a radio show his lifelong search for his parents — after they deliberately abandoned him on a trip to the Grand Canyon.
“Dirt’s” script is from an original draft from “SNL” head writer Fred Wolf and “SNL” staff writer Matt Piedmont, with subsequent drafts from Wolf and Spade making for the final version.
Pic will be produced by Robert Simonds and will be exec produced by “SNL” alum and feature funnyman, Adam Sandler and producing partner Jack Giarraputo under their Happy Madison production banner. Ira Schuman will produce in some capacity yet to be determined.
Simonds and Sandler’s association with “Dirt” is easy to understand, given Sandler’s early “SNL” connections with Spade and that the U-based Simonds produced three of Sandler’s recent hit pics, “The Wedding Singer,” “Happy Gilmore” and “The Water Boy.”
Pic will receive a $15 million budget and will be supervised by Sony’s exec veepee of production Doug Belgrad and veepee Carrie Richman.
Gordon and Spade are both repped by Endeavor.