Thesp finds twice is nice
Making a double splash in a single day, Owen Wilson has closed deals to topline and produce a pair of comedy spec scripts sold for seven figures each: “Stalker — A Love Story” at Paramount and “Me, You and Dupree” at Universal.
Thesp, who will next be seen in New Line’s “Wedding Crashers,” helped develop the projects, and UTA conducted both auctions with deals closing Wednesday.
Paramount bought “Stalker — A Love Story” by the scripting team of Michael Carnes and Josh Gilbert for $1.75 million against $2 million and set up the project with Prospect Pictures principals Matthew Weaver, Carl Levin and Marcos Siega producing and Jason Barhydt co-producing. Story, based on an idea by Weaver, centers on a man who, after realizing too late that he’s let the perfect woman get away, tries to win her back in all the wrong ways.
Par exec VP Alli Shearmur and VP Andrew Haas will oversee for studio. Carnes and Gilbert teamed on penning “Mr. Woodcock,” starring Billy Bob Thornton, for New Line and sold New Line the comedy spec “Furry Vengeance.”
Universal snapped up “Me, You and Dupree” by Michael LeSieur, with Sean Perrone and Aaron Kaplan set to exec produce. Project revolves around a troubled newlywed couple whose problems are magnified when the groom’s out-of-work meddlesome best man moves in and begins competing with him.
Scott Stuber, U’s vice chairman of worldwide production, and exec VP Donna Langley will shepherd “Dupree” for the studio. LeSieur wrote “Ballad of Paul Finley” at New Line and “It Wasn’t Me” at Warner Bros.
The two deals signal an active market for comedy specs with name talent attached such as U’s recent $2 million purchase of the Jay Lavender/Jeremy Garelick script “The Break-Up” with Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston attached.
Wilson recently appeared in “The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou” and “Meet the Fockers.” He also optioned journalist John Falk’s book “Hello to All That: A Memoir of War, Zoloft, and Peace,” and plans to star in and produce the adaptation.