Schnabel laffer begins lensing in January

Robert Duvall is set to star alongside Will Ferrell in the untitled kid soccer film Universal Pictures has set up for a January start date. Marco Schnabel is directing and Jimmy Miller is producing.

Duvall plays a type-A coach whose intensity left his son disillusioned toward a game he was becoming quite good at. Years later, his son reluctantly agrees to coach his own 10-year-old son’s team. That sets him up mano a mano against his father, and there’s nothing the father wants more than to give his son a coaching facial.

The comedy was scripted by Leo Benvenuti and Steve Rudnick, whose credits include “The Santa Clause” and “Space Jam.”

Schnabel is getting his shot at directing after a long stretch as second unit director on such Jay Roach films as the Austin Powers trilogy and “Meet the Parents.” Ferrell was able to squeeze the film in between starring stints in the Woody Allen pic “Winter Passing” and the Columbia Pictures comedy “Bewitched,” with Nicole Kidman.

Duvall, who was just seen in “Open Range” and “Secondhand Lions,” was in high demand last week at Universal. The studio set a deal for “Bit Players,” a pitch to be written by Scott Rosenberg and Michael Lewis that is being designed to star Duvall, Dustin Hoffman and Gene Hackman.

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