'301' mocks '300,' 'Gladiator,' 'Braveheart'
The revived National Lampoon, which hasn’t thrown a toga party since “Animal House,” is pulling out the sheets for another one.The company has set a fall start for “National Lampoon’s 301: The Legend of Awesomest Maximus Wallace Leonidas,” a spoof of such sword-and-sandal films as “300,” “Troy,” “Gladiator” and “Braveheart.” Jason Burinescu wrote the script. Protag is Awesomest, an out-of-shape Spartan general who fails forward on a path to greatness. Pic will be produced by National Lampoon, Dan Farah and Burinescu, who just sold an animated celebrity spoof show to MTV. Once a prestige signature of comedies like “Animal House,” National Lampoon has languished after licensing its brand name to underwhelming laffers like the Paris Hilton starrer “Pledge This!” The publicly traded shingle is trying to redeem itself by becoming a more selective and active producer under CEO Daniel Laikin. Lampoon will finance “301.” It recently completed production on “National Lampoon’s Ratko: The Dictator’s Son” and “National Lampoon’s Bag Boy.” “As we aggressively move into the inhouse film production business, ‘301’ is the kind of project we get very excited about,” Laikin said. “This will be a great complement to our library.” Dale Rosenbloom will be exec producer. Farah Films is producing “Armored” for Screen Gems with the Raimi/Donen Co., and recently set up a screen adaptation of the fantasy book series “Shannara” at Warner Bros.