Conrad to helm laffer for studio

Dimension Films has tapped “The Weather Man” scribe Steve Conrad to make his feature directorial debut next spring on his script “Quebec.” Deal calls for Conrad to write a second project for Bob Weinstein, one Todd Phillips will produce and possibly direct.

To be shot in Conrad’s hometown of Chicago, “Quebec” is a comedic study of the price of the American Dream. In pic, two assistant managers at a grocery chain are vying for the top job. The friends are forced to question how far they’ll go as they engage in a campaign of one-upmanship to get the coveted post. Title refers to the birthplace of one of the aspirants.

Jessika Borsiczky and Steven Jones will produce.

Conrad makes the jump to directing after a highly productive writing run. Aside from Nicolas Cage starrer “The Weather Man,” Conrad wrote “The Pursuit of Happyness,” the Gabriele Muccino-directed Columbia Pictures drama currently in production; Will Smith and his son Jaden star.

He also scripted “Chad Schmidt” for Sony, with Brad Pitt attached to star. Conrad just completed an adaptation of the Chang-Rae Lee bestselling novel “Aloft” for producer Scott Rudin, and he is adapting J. Robert Lennon’s novel “The Mailman.”

Conrad wrote “Quebec” several years ago and held it back until he was ready to get behind the camera. He prepared by spending every day on the set of “The Weather Man” and sponging wisdom from its director, Gore Verbinski. Conrad will begin casting “Quebec” shortly.

Dimension production head and exec veep Richard Saperstein and senior VP Matthew Stein will supervise the project.

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