Penelope Spheeris has inked a deal to helm Dimension Films’ upcoming romantic comedy, “Closers.”
The script, which was plucked off the market preemptively by Dimension last March, will deliver a hefty $1 million payday for scribes Monica Johnson and Josh Stolberg when lensing begins.
Kevin Messick will produce via his Messick Films banner, with pre-production beginning late this fall.
Spheeris, who’s best known for having helmed comedies such as “Wayne’s World” (1992), “Black Sheep” (1996) and for Dimension “Senseless” (1998), has also won critical acclaim for her delvings into L.A.’s underground punk and metal worlds with her tripartite “Decline of Western Civilization” documentaries.
Dimension topper Bob Weinstein said he was “excited about the opportunity to work with Penelope again,” adding that “her sensibilities are perfect for the film.”
“Closers” follows a hapless guy who wants to win the heart of a particular girl. After enlisting the aid of a covert service that boasts the unbeatable guarantee of “You pick the target, and we guarantee you’ll get laid.” he finds he’s getting far more bang for his buck than he’d expected: Immediately after signing on as a client, he witnesses the girl’s hunky all-American boyfriend getting flattened by a bus.
That’s only on page two, and the malfeasance orchestrated by the covert service only gets worse. His decision to try to slow things down when he has reason to believe the girl may be a psychopath produces similarly comedic results.
Johnson has been the writing partner of Albert Brooks on such comedies as “The Muse” and “Mother,” while newcomer Stolberg wrote the comedy “Bad Nougat” for the Bubble Factory.
Dimension’s director of production and development Steve Squillante brought the project into the company, and will oversee its production with prexy Cary Granat.
Dave Phillips of Writers & Artists Agency repped the scribes, while the Gersh Agency repped Spheeris.