School ties for New Line

Shankman, Gibgot to produce comedy

New Line’s going back to high school, buying Jason Filardi’s untitled comedy pitch with “High School Musical” star Zac Efron to topline.

Minimajor’s also signed “Hairspray” director Adam Shankman and producing partner Jennifer Gibgot to produce through their Offspring Entertainment shingle. Efron’s manager Jason Barrett will exec produce.

New Line won an auction for the project Tuesday, bidding $750,000 against $1.5 million. Sony also sought the project as a directing vehicle for Walt Becker, who helmed Disney’s “Wild Hogs,” which opens Friday.

No director’s attached on the Filardi project. The logline’s being kept under wraps other than being described as a broad comedy in a high school setting.

Project reunites Shankman and Efron, who portrays hunky heartthrob Link in New Line’s “Hairspray,” the screen adaptation of the Broadway musical, which is set for a July release.

Efron, who recently signed with CAA, is in pre-production on a “High School Musical” sequel.

Shankman has also worked previously with Filardi, directing his script in 2003’s “Bringing Down the House.”

Shankman signed on recently to direct Disney’s “Bedtime Stories,” a live-action comedy produced by Andrew Gunn. Deal came as the studio reupped for one year its first-look deal with Shankman and Gibgot (Daily Variety, Feb. 8).

Filardi’s repped by ICM.

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