Helmer sets two features, pair of pilots through shingle
Shawn Levy (“Night at the Museum”) has set two feature directing vehicles and a pair of TV pilot scripts through his 21 Laps Entertainment.Universal has acquired Alex Williams’ fantasy novel “The Talent Thief” for the shingle to produce. Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay (“Aeon Flux”) will write the screenplay about a boy trying to thwart a villain who’s using a bizarre creature to steal people’s special talents. Exec producer is Tom McNulty. Fox has pacted for “Father Figure,” an original drama with comic elements to be written by Mark Friedman (“Home of the Brave”) and produced by 21 Laps. For the small screen, 21 Laps has a Fox network deal for pilot script “The Institution,” a single-camera half-hour from Levy and Chris Moynihan that focuses on three couples as they weather the highs and lows of matrimony. And CBS is developing “The Swim Team,” a sitcom created by Rich Appel (“King of the Hill”) about a 30-ish narcissistic bachelor whose sperm bank visit during college comes back to haunt him when the offspring turn up on his doorstep. Banner 21 Laps, which last produced “Pepper Dennis,” has an overall deal at Fox for both film and TV, and 20th Television will produce both pilots. Levy, who last directed “The Pink Panther,” hasn’t decided on his next film. A “Panther” sequel is a possibility, but Levy won’t decide until a script is completed. “Museum,” which 21 Laps produced with 1492 Prods., opens Dec. 20. “Father Figure” is the first collaboration between Levy and Friedman since the writer scripted Levy’s senior thesis film at USC. Levy said they’ve been trying to find another project ever since. Manfredi and Hay, who also wrote “Crazy/Beautiful,” are completing “RIPD” for Universal. Levy’s repped by Endeavor, Manfredi and Hay by UTA. APA brokered the book rights deal for “The Talent Thief” with David Higham Associates in London.