Participant Prods. is looking for some laughs.
Socially conscious banner is teaming with Broken Lizard’s Jay Chandrasekhar and Julia Dray to develop feature comedy “Taildraggers.” TV scribe Will Gluck (“The Loop”) is attached to pen the script.
Project marks the first laffer that Participant has taken boarded. Philanthropist and former eBay exec Jeff Skoll founded Participant in January 2004 with an eye to finance and co-produce socially relevant features and documentaries that are also commercially viable.
“Taildraggers” revolves around five aimless twentysomethings who work as pilots for a rickety puddle-jumper airline in the Alaskan wilderness. Action heats up when the misfits discover that a competing airline is involved in a plot to siphon oil from a nature preserve.
“Comedies can be as effective as dramas in telling stories about issues and highlighting how people can make a difference, but, really, ‘Taildraggers’ made us laugh. That it is actually about something is simply icing on the cake,” said Participant exec VP of production Jonathan King said.
Comedy troupe Broken Lizard has a first-look deal with Warner Bros., where Participant has financed and co-produced several of its movies, including “Good Night, and Good Luck,” “North Country” and “Syriana.”
As with any project produced by Broken Lizard, “Taildraggers” could be a potential directing vehicle for Chandrasekhar and starring vehicle for him and the other members of the comedy troupe.
Broken Lizard’s credits include “Beerfest,” “Club Dread” and “Super Troopers.”
Other Participant credits include Al Gore docu “An Inconvenient Truth.” Upcoming slate includes Mike Nichol’s “Charlie Wilson’s War,” Marc Forster’s “The Kite Runner” and Jonathan Demme’s docu on Jimmy Carter’s book tour.