Schneider shops for suitors for ‘Gigolo’ sequel

SCHNEIDER RACES TO MOUNT SEQUEL: Rob Schneider is on a USO tour in Korea, and he says that nothing makes him happier than the friendly fire of greetings he gets from soldiers. Especially when they call him “Man-Whore.”

Schneider said that salute gives him strength as he readies an R-rated sequel to “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo” that flies in the face of a trend for taming comedies for the teens who drive opening weekend grosses. Schneider played the reluctant Man-whore in the original Disney pic, which grossed $66 million domestically. With a budget under $30 million, Schneider’s sure the sequel will make more but feels suffocated by the PG-13 obsession he feels is hurting good comedy.

How else to explain Disney’s rejection of “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo,” a sequel script he wrote with David Garrett and Jason Ward? Schneider said Disney’s Nina Jacobson and Dick Cook are letting him peddle his Man-Whore tale elsewhere, though they’ve tacked on a whopping fee: 5% of the gross. Disney wouldn’t make it because Schneider’s script revels in its R the way “There’s Something About Mary” and “American Pie” did.

Schneider let me read the script, and we analyzed Disney’s reluctance. The script is very funny, but clearly Jacobson and Cook couldn’t put the Mouse imprimatur on a film that features a character whose nose grows and contracts. It’s one thing when it’s a wooden boy who lies. It’s another when it’s a veil-wearing woman who has a penis where her nose should be. Then there is shock value comparable with Cameron Diaz’s hair gel application or Jason Biggs’ violation of an apple pie.

In the first film, Deuce’s love-starved dates included a glandularly challenged woman, a narcoleptic and a woman with Tourette’s Sydrome. Sequel dates are just as odd. First up is the veil-wearing Katrina, who tells Deuce she was the survivor of a car accident that killed her twin brother. She was sewn back together with some of his parts and suffice to say, the nose came from him and the veil rises each time Deuce touches her.

“OK, your point about Pinocchio gives me 100% understanding of why Disney won’t do it and I’m grateful they let me shop it,” Schneider said. “But I just can’t get over how difficult it is to make an R-rated comedy, especially one that has this kind of upside. I’d be surprised if Mel Brooks could get ‘Blazing Saddles’ made in this atmosphere.”

ADAM SANDLER’S HAPPY MADISON is producing, and Schneider said Sandler’s confident another studio will seed the sequel. Sony’s one possibility, even though that studio’s last reliance on a phallic plot point led to the disastrous Mike Nichols comedy “What Planet Are You From?” Schneider fears that taming comedies to get a PG-13 led to a summer of sequels that were little more than continuations of superior predecessors. Schneider said his goal was to expand Deuce’s universe the way former “Saturday Night Live” castmate Mike Myers did with the Austin Powers sequels. He did that by fleshing out the world of global man-whoring.

Indeed, his script introduces exotic sex acts unfamiliar to me, a guy who lives in the suburbs of Long Island and has been married 18 years.

I ask: “Rob, what’s a “Filthy Lopez,” a “Chocolate Tonto,” or even a “Turkish Snowcone?”

“They’re all about $40,” he replied, unwilling to elaborate. And when I suggest I see where he’s going with the “Chili Rainbow”–the act is performed with the help of a glasstop table, and onlookers don ponchos — Schneider replies: “Maybe I was a bit over the top with the Chili Rainbow. I might tone that down. But the girl with the nose stays.”

STUDIOS ARE BIDDING and a deal will be made shortly. Then, Schneider will draft Jean Reno to play a cop, and he’ll pull out all the stops for a finale that takes place at the “73rd Man-Whore Awards.”

Eddie Griffin will return to play Schneider’s pimp and Schneider has a list of celebs he wants to play themselves: Richard Gere (whose “American Gigolo” performance has staying power among Man-Whores); Anna Kournikova; Joan Rivers; and curiously, former Sony exec-turned producer Sid Ganis.

“Sid is a lock and I have to believe we can get Joan,” Schneider said. “Gere was promoting a film once and didn’t show for Jay Leno, so I put on a gray wig and pretended to be him. It was probably the funniest thing I ever did on TV. Richard called me after and I said, dude, you’ve got to pay me back and do the sequel. I think I can get him.”

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