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‘Daddy’ scribe conceives 2nd Col deal

Frank tale follows elite repo man in the Florida Keys

Who’s your Daddy? For Steve Franks, the answer is once again Columbia Pictures.

Having penned the 1999 spec script that became “Big Daddy,” Franks has sold Col his latest pitch, “Skiptracer,” in a deal valued at mid-six against high-six figures.

In “Skiptracer,” set in the Florida Keys, a high-society repo man, who specializes in reacquiring yachts, helicopters and sports cars, gets caught up in reuniting a kidnapped child with her mother. The kid/adult rapport evolves to something akin to 1973’s “Paper Moon.”

Sony moved quickly to preemptively acquire the broad action/comedy pitch for producer Neal Moritz and his Col-based Original Films. Moritz most recently produced “Not Another Teen Movie” for Col, and is the producer of Revolution Studios’ upcoming Vin Diesel starrer “XXX.”

Rewrote ‘Jeannie’

Franks has recently done rewrite work on the feature adaptation of the 1965 skein “I Dream of Jeannie,” which also is set up at the studio, and sold his high-concept spec “When I Grow Up” to Bill Mechanic’s Pandemonium.

But it was his 1999 spec that attracted Adam Sandler and became “Big Daddy,” which ran up $167 million in domestic grosses for the studio — its biggest pic of that year.

“Skiptracer” was developed by Franks and his manager, Chris Henze, and taken to Original Films. Col exec VP of production Doug Belgrad will oversee pic for the studio with creative executive Jonathan Kadin.

Original Film exec VP Brad Luff will produce as well as shepherd its development for Moritz. Henze will serve as executive producer.

Franks was represented in the deal by Broder Kurland Webb Uffner.

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