Two for the funny

Ferrell, McKay launch comedy shingle

Will Ferrell and filmmaker Adam McKay have launched a production shingle, Gary Sanchez Prods., and signed a two-year, first-look production pact with Paramount Vantage.

Deal calls for Ferrell and McKay to produce comedies for the Paramount specialty label budgeted under $15 million.

Shingle is named after an ex-NFL kicker from Paraguay who is a friend of the duo’s.

Sanchez finances the company and is likely to receive some producing credit on company projects.

“Adam and I have been looking forward to setting up a company for a long time,” Ferrell said. “And with Mr. Sanchez’s support and vision, we look forward to a long and productive partnership. Viva Paraguay!”

Added McKay: “He is like a spiritual leader for us. He provides moral support and finances outside entertainment.”

Up first on Gary Sanchez Prods.’ slate is likely to be low-budget comedy “Foot Fist Way.” The Jody Hill-directed pic is screening as part of the Los Angeles Film Festival. McKay and Ferrell are in discussions with Par Vantage about acquiring the pic for release.

Both alums of “Saturday Night Live,” Ferrell and McKay started on the sketch-comedy show on the same day in 1995 — Ferrell as a cast member and McKay as a writer. That relationship led them to collaborate on a number of projects together, including the never-produced “August Blowout,” DreamWorks’ “Anchorman,” New Line Cinema’s “Elf” and the upcoming McKay-directed “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” due out in August from Sony, which Ferrell toplined and co-wrote with McKay.

“Will and I have always operated with a sense that budget doesn’t matter when it comes to comedies; if you get laughs, that’s all that matters,” McKay said. “So we decided to set up a deal with that as the operating premise.”

Company is finalizing office space near the Par lot.

Shingle is developing a number of projects set to be announced shortly.

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