Arnold tosses hat in ring for laffer ‘Sir’

Schooley, McCorkle pen New Line script

Arnold Schwarzenegger hasn’t yet tipped his hand on a possible run for the California governorship, but at this point he hasn’t quit his day job.

He’s attached himself to New Line’s family road comedy, “Big Sir.”

Based on an idea developed internally at New Line by senior VP of production Chris Godsick and Gotham-based VP Mark Kaufman, “Big Sir” follows a soon-to-be stepdad who is forced to travel cross-country with his future stepkids in tow, all the while being pursued by unsavory characters from his past.

Godsick and Kaufman brought in writers Bob Schooley and Mark McCorkle, the co-creators of the Disney Channel animated kid skein “Kim Possible,” last March; their recent draft has sparked interest in Schwarzenegger’s warmer, funnier side — one sorely missed in a string of actioner flops like “Collateral Damage” (2002), “The Sixth Day” (2000) and “End of Days” (1999) — and impressively displayed in comedies like “Kindergarten Cop” (1990) and “Twins” (1988). Indeed, one insider described “Big Sir” as in the vein of late ’80s family comedies like John Hughes’ “Uncle Buck” and Chris Columbus’ “Adventures in Babysitting.”

Budget on the laffer was thought to be in the $20 million to $30 million dollar range, but according to one insider “that number just went up considerably” with Schwarzenegger’s arrival. His latest pic, “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines,” pushed its 12-day domestic box office cume to $110.5 million over the weekend.

Though “Big Sir” is a first outing in features, Schooley and McCorkle have been veteran scribes on Disney’s TV production slate. Credits include exec producing “Buzz Lightyear of Star Command,” co-producing and co-writing “Find Out Why With Timon & Pumbaa” for ABC and the National Science Foundation, and producing “Disney’s Hercules: The Series” for ABC syndication.

Neither helmer nor producer is attached to “Sir” as yet.

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