Tribeca deal paves way for third movie

Universal Pictures has reupped Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal’s Gotham-based Tribeca Prods. for another two years and will get busy on developing “Little Fockers,” the third installment of what has become one of Universal’s most lucrative franchises.

Producers are working with Jay Roach, who directed both “Meet the Parents” and “Meet the Fockers,” to hatch the third pic.

Hope is to bring back not only Ben Stiller, De Niro, Teri Polo and Blythe Danner, but also Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand. The effort makes strong financial sense: “Meet the Parents” grossed $330 million worldwide, “Meet the Fockers” $515 million.

Script will be written by Larry Stuckey, Roach’s former assistant who collaborated with the director on several scripts, including a remake of “Elling” at Fox and an untitled outsourcing comedy at Universal.

For Universal, the Tribeca deal is the second overall pact to be renewed after the studio brought Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner back into the fold. Studio is also eager to reup Imagine partners Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, whose deal expires at the end of the year.

De Niro and Rosenthal are coming off “The Good Shepherd,” the De Niro-directed CIA drama that Universal distributed through its output deal with financier-producer Morgan Creek.”Tribeca has been responsible for such a diverse group of successful movies, and both Jane and Bob have a real love for film that shows in everything they’ve done with us,” said U president of production Donna Langley. “This marks eight years that Tribeca has had a deal at Universal, and we look forward to continuing this very fruitful partnership.”

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