Paramount wild about ‘Wilderness’

Studio slots comedy for Jan. 25 release

Paramount Pictures has acquired distribution rights to “Strange Wilderness,” the Happy Madison-produced comedy that stars Steve Zahn, Allen Covert, Jonah Hill, Justin Long, Jeff Garlin and Kevin Heffernan.

Par has slotted the Fred Wolf-directed comedy for a Jan. 25 release. Pic’s produced by Peter Gaulke, who wrote the script with Wolf.

Story follows the hosts (Zahn and Covert) of fictional wildlife TV show “Strange Wilderness,” which is headed toward extinction because of bad ratings; they hatch a scheme to find the one animal that can save the show — Bigfoot.

Jack Giarraputo will exec produce with Happy Madison partner Adam Sandler, Level 1’s Bill Todman Jr., Edward Milstein, Paul Schwake and Glenn S. Gainor.

Pic likely will have an R rating, which was fine with the studio.

“It’s a terrific addition to our 2008 slate, and we think audiences are demonstrating a strong appetite for edgy R-rated comedy material, as evidenced by recent hits such as ‘Knocked Up’ and ‘Borat,'” said Rob Moore, Par prexy of worldwide marketing, distribution and homevid.

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