Scribe Richards finds ‘Trouble’ remake

Film to be soley U-backed

HOLLYWOOD — John C. Richards, scribe of USA Films laffer “Nurse Betty,” has inked a deal to adapt Ernst Lubitsch’s classic romantic farce “Trouble in Paradise” for Universal Pictures.

Project was to have been set up as a co-financing deal between U and Fox under the watch of then-Fox 2000 studio topper Laura Ziskin. Now, “Trouble” will be produced by the Columbia-based Ziskin and will be solely a U-backed pic.

Michael Seitzman (“Here on Earth”) had penned a previous draft of “Trouble” when the project was being developed under the title “The Honest Finder” — the name of the Aladar Laszlo play from which the picture was adapted (and the rights to which were controlled by Fox).

“It’s the best romantic comedy ever,” said Ziskin. “We hope we can do Lubitsch proud. What interests me is the love triangle, which is so brilliant, because by the end you really can’t decide with whom he should really be.”

Widow’s walk

The original “Trouble in Paradise,” released by Paramount in 1932, follows the exploits of a pair of romantically linked con artists who try to swindle a wealthy widow. When the dowager turns out to be more clever than the duo anticipated, the con man ends up in the middle of a love triangle with his partner and his former target.

Richards was repped in the deal by the International Creative Management team of Jeff Shumway, Jillian Michaels and Nick Reed, and by attorney Craig Emmanuel.

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