U Farley/Spade project finds new home
Steven Surjik (“Wayne’s World 2″) is in final negotiations to helm the newly resurrected “Tree,” a comedy project, now set up at MGM, that was originally envisioned as a vehicle for David Spade and the late Chris Farley.MGM confirmed Friday that it will pick up the project from Universal, which had placed it in turnaround. But producer Charles Gordon (“Waterworld,” “Die Hard 2″) of Daybreak Prods. cautioned that the MGM deal won’t be finalized until early this week and a pact with Surjik is expected to follow. Pic will be based on an as-yet-uncredited script involving a low-level White House employee who goes to the Pacific Northwest in search of a presidential Christmas tree. The White House staffer hooks up with a quirky truck driver and hijinks ensue. “We are talking to (Surjik), but that’s not done yet,” Gordon said. It’s unclear if Spade is still interested in the project; talks on other talent attachments are expected to follow shortly after the director is attached. “Tree” will mark Gordon and Daybreak’s first project since the end of a previous studio deal with Universal. Gordon, producer on last year’s Joe Johnston-helmed “October Sky,” said Daybreak has obtained some $500 million in alternate film financing. Surjik, who also directed the HBO film “Weapons of Mass Distraction,” is repped by CAA.