'Bears' second teaming between helmer, studio

HOLLYWOOD — Paramount Pictures has signed Richard Linklater to a two-year first-look directing deal.

Helmer is prepping for a Nov. 15 start of production on Par’s remake of “Bad News Bears,” toplined by Billy Bob Thornton and produced by Geyer Kosinski via his Media Talent shingle.

“Bears” marks the second teaming between Par and Linklater on a kid-oriented comedy following last year’s Jack Black starrer “School of Rock,” which grossed $81 million in the U.S.

Linklater received strong critical response to his work on Warner Independent’s romance-drama “Before Sunset,” the follow-up to “Before Sunrise.” Both films starred Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke.

He’s also in post-production on another Warner Independent project, the animated “A Scanner Darkly,” based on Philip K. Dick’s story.

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