Heder to take title role in laffer

“Napoleon Dynamite” star Jon Heder will take the title role in “Mama’s Boy,” a Warner Independent Pictures comedy that will mark the feature directorial debut of Tim Hamilton.

Heder will play an arrogant pseudo-intellectual whose ideal life of living at home with his angelic mom in Texas is threatened when she falls in love with a self-help guru and prepares to marry him. The script was written by Hank Nelken. Heidi Santelli will produce, and Steve Carr will exec produce.

Since making “Napoleon Dynamite” with fellow BYU student Jared Hess and watching his character become a cultural icon, Heder has made the most of his momentum. He’ll next be seen alongside Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo in “Just Like Heaven,” followed by “The Benchwarmers.” He stars alongside Billy Bob Thornton in the upcoming Todd Phillips-directed “School for Scoundrels.”

Warner Independent is eyeing a February 2006 start for “Mama’s Boy,” and Heder has already given notes to Nelken as he morphs into character. Nelken also scripted “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House,” the remake Santelli is producing for Revolution, with Carr directing.

Hamilton steps up to features after directing humorous commercials and videos for bands like Barenaked Ladies and Crash Test Dummies. He’s been courted to make a feature since studios got a look at “Truth in Advertising,” the short film he co-wrote and directed about how Madison Avenue really makes commercials if the creatives told the truth in meetings.

“Mama’s Boy” originated as a WB project, then moved over to WIP. It will be supervised by WB’s Polly Cohen and Geoff Shaevitz plus WIP’s Mark Gill and Paul Fedderbush.

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