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‘Schmidt’ happens for Sony, Pitt

Studio takes $1 mil pitch for pic

Sony has preemptively paid north of $1 million for a pitch by Steve Conrad to be developed into a pic for Brad Pitt to topline. Escape Artists will produce.

“Chad Schmidt” concerns an actor who moves to Los Angeles in the late 1980s to pursue his dream of movie stardom — only to find he bears a strong resemblance to another up-and-coming actor named Brad Pitt. As Pitt’s career reaches a dazzling level of fame, Schmidt becomes an uncastable joke.

Escape Artists’ Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch will produce. Exec producing are David Alper and Steve Conrad. Amy Baer will oversee the project for Sony.

Conrad wrote and co-produced Paramount’s upcoming Nicolas Cage starrer “The Weather Man,” which Escape Artists produced. He also wrote “The Pursuit of Happyness,” a Will Smith pic that Escape Artists and Overbrook Entertainment are producing for Sony.

Pitt toplines Fox’s upcoming “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.”

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