NEW YORK — Working Title is negotiating to purchase “Flying Smiths,” a spec script by George Wing that will be fast-tracked as a star vehicle for offscreen couple Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe.
Wing is the scripter of “Fifty First Kisses,” which Jay Roach likely will direct at Columbia after he completes “Goldmember,” the third installment of the “Austin Powers” film series. “Flying Smiths” is Wing’s second script. Like the first, which has drawn interest from such thesps as Adam Sandler and Julia Roberts, Wing’s sophomore effort quickly sparked with talent.
Phillippe would play an ambitious trapeze artist whose dreams are dashed when one of his eyes is scratched out by a tiger. He travels to Italy to procure a glass eye, which is swallowed by the child of a local woman (Witherspoon) with whom he falls in love.
The script deal was put together at Working Title by prexy Liza Chasen, and the film will be produced by Alix Madigan and Larry Kennar of Anonymous Content, along with Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner.
The plan is for them to be joined as producers by Witherspoon and Phillippe. The script deal still is being negotiated, but it has been constructed for accelerated progress toward production. The parties already have made up a list of directors, and, if one of them can be landed, the project could go into production early next year.
Witherspoon and Phillippe met when they starred together in “Cruel Intentions.” They have since married.
Witherspoon, who’s repped by WMA and Talent Entertainment Group, currently is starring for director Andy Tennant in “Sweet Home Alabama,” while Phillippe, who’s repped by WMA and Brillstein-Grey, next stars in the Robert Altman-directed ensemble “Gosford Park” and just completed the Burr Steers-directed “Igby Goes Down” as he preps his own slate of projects as a producer. The scribe’s agented by Writers & Artists and Anonymous Content.