Universal has acquired the Jennifer Cox memoir “Around the World in 80 Dates” and has set Jeff Rake to write the script.
Pic will be produced by Reese Witherspoon’s U-based Type A shingle along with Mike De Luca Prods. As Witherspoon does with many projects her company options, she will have first crack to star in the film if the script is to her liking. Type A’s Jennifer Simpson will also produce.
“80 Dates,” a bestseller in England, tells the story of a British travel writer’s attempt to find her soulmate. She sent her profile and her specs for a soulmate to contacts around the world and traveled the globe, going on dates with the top 80 candidates in 16 countries.
The book was discovered by Alissa Phillips at Mike De Luca Prods., who showed to book to Rake. His pitch hooked Witherspoon, an attachment that had three studios wooing.
U production president Donna Langley won the rights with a deal that will potentially pay the writer a seven-figure sum if the film gets made. Megan Gerard will shepherd the pic for the studio.