'Seabiscuit' partners join once more for Vardalos pic

Universal Pictures will team with Spyglass Entertainment on “Connie and Carla,” Nia Vardalos’ follow-up to “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” Pic is set for an April start.

Written by Vardalos, she will co-star in the buddy comedy; the film’s second star and director have not been selected. Universal will handle domestic distribution, with Spyglass wholly financing the project.

Spyglass will produce with Rita Wilson. Brillstein-Grey’s Peter Safran, who brought the project to Spyglass, will executive produce with Vardalos. Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s U-based Playtone Co. produced “Wedding,” but it’s unclear whether it also will produce “Connie and Carla.”

This is the third teaming for Spyglass and U. They are currently in production on “Seabiscuit” and “Bruce Almighty.”

Spyglass toppers Roger Birnbaum and Gary Barber will produce along with prexy of production Jonathan Glickman. VP production Stephanie Striegel will shepherd the project for Spyglass.

Spyglass announced Monday that it would be leaving Disney early next year for a four-year first-look deal at DreamWorks. While the first-look element will be exclusive to DreamWorks, Spyglass can still produce or co-produce pictures for any studio.

DreamWorks and Spyglass are currently in production on their first collaboration, “Seabiscuit,” starring Tobey Maguire and Jeff Bridges under the direction of Gary Ross. It will be released next summer with U distributing domestically. DreamWorks will handle distribution in some international territories.

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