Actor signs two-year deal with Universal

Universal Pictures has made a two-year, first-look producing deal with Vince Vaughn and his Wild West Picture Show Prods. Arrangement kicks off with three features, each of which could be a starring vehicle for Vaughn.

Vaughn has set in development “Male Doula,” a high-concept comedy based on his idea, to be scripted by Dana Fox (“What Happens in Vegas …”).

He is partnered with “The Break-Up” producer Scott Stuber on two other projects. One is an untitled comedy Jon Favreau is scripting about couples that attend a retreat to reinvigorate their marriages. The other is “Realtors,” a satire about the cutthroat chase for commissions by rival realtors in the residential housing market.

The deal given Wild West Pictures Show Prods. by U production prexy Donna Langley allows the shingle to acquire pitches and spec scripts and gives Vaughn a discretionary fund.

While Vaughn received his first producing credit with Favreau on their “Swingers” follow-up “Made,” he made his mark as a producer with Universal on “The Break-Up.” The comedy was based on Vaughn’s idea, with Jeremy Garelick and Jay Lavender writing the script. After the pic grossed $205 million worldwide, U brass felt Vaughn was money and he didn’t even know it.

“We came away feeling that he was one of the absolute smartest guys in the business, who attended to every part of the process with such focus and has a real touch for what is fresh and interesting for the culture,” Universal Pictures chairman Marc Shmuger told Daily Variety. “We think Vince will find a long and comfortable place for himself here.”

Vaughn was also a hands-on producer on the documentary “Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show: 30 Days & 30 Nights — Hollywood to the Heartland.” Pic, which features Vaughn as emcee of a comedy tour, sold in a bidding battle to the Weinstein Co. at last year’s Toronto Film Festival.

Months later, when Vaughn was unconvinced about the release and marketing strategy, he appealed directly to Weinstein and was able to buy back the film and make a new deal with New Line and Picturehouse. The pic will be released next year, after Vaughn stars in the holiday comedy “Fred Claus” for Warner Bros., bowing Nov. 9.

“I’m looking forward to working again with Marc, David Linde, Donna Langley and their talented teams,” Vaughn said in a statement. “I had a great experience on ‘The Break-Up,’ and the marketing team, led by Adam Fogelson, did a fantastic job with the film.”

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