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Goodman’s ‘Ivy’ grows at Lions Gate

LG, Goodman in 'League'

Lions Gate Entertainment has acquired “Ivy League,” a comedy to be written by Josh Bycel and Jonathan Fener.

GMG’s Gary Goodman will produce the pic, one of several projects he is setting up.

“Ivy League” revolves around rowdy kids who mistakenly get accepted into a prestigious academic institution and turn it upside down.

Idea was inspired by an article Goodman read about Cornell accidentally accepting 1,500 students by email and then rescinding the invites.

“I thought, what if some of them didn’t get the second email, or just showed up anyway, and the school had no choice but to accept them,” Goodman said.

Lions Gate production prexy Mike Paseornek said he’s looking for “a throwback to character-driven raucous comedies like ‘Animal House’ or ‘Revenge of the Nerds,’ where the emphasis is on funny character development rather than gross-out humor.”

Paseornek said the goal is to hatch a comedy that will come in with a PG-13 rating.

Development director Alex Franklin is overseeing the project.

This marks the second recent studio alignment for Goodman, who previously set at Revolution “Jingle Belle,” a comedy about Santa’s naughty daughter.

Goodman also is moving forward on a remake of “Bang the Drum Slowly,” the drama about a pitcher and a catcher who connect just when the latter is diagnosed with cancer. Michael Moriarty and Robert De Niro starred in the 1973 pic. Goodman bought the rights from Mark Harris, who adapted his book for the original. Goodman is in talks with “The Notebook” scribe Jeremy Leven to write the script, and said he would likely attach talent before aligning with a studio.

The producer also is shopping “Prisoner in Paradise,” the story of Dan Hanks, who was convicted of wiretapping in the 1980s. Hanks reported to federal prison, where he found himself the lone male among 800 female prisoners, the guinea pig in a coed prison experiment. Goodman wrapped up a rights deal with Hanks.Goodman also has partnered with Barry Rosen and the Mischel Co. on “Annie,” which picks up the life of the lovable orphan after she’s enriched by her adoptive father Daddy Warbucks. They are looking for a live-action TV series deal to go along with an animated skein now in development with Canada-based Studio B and booked to air on the Family Channel in Canada.

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