Studio gets 'Smart' star for film deal

Warner Bros. Pictures has staked its “Get Smart” star Steve Carell to a three-year first-look deal.

Carell has formed Carousel Prods. Vance DeGeneres and Charlie Hartsock will run the shingle, which will take offices on the WB lot.

Deal comes after “Get Smart” grossed $130 million domestically and $230 million worldwide for Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures. The studio is mobilizing a sequel for Carell to return as Maxwell Smart.

That sequel is not part of the new overall deal, which will allow Carell to cross-pollinate the relationships he’s made over the course of a career that spans Second City, Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” films and NBC sitcom “The Office,” on which Carell is a producer and writer in addition to starring.

DeGeneres was a correspondent on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” alongside Carell. Hartsock was a classmate at Denison U. and founded an educational theater company with Carell before they honed their comic chops at Second City in Chicago.

“My idea was to partner with friends of mine, people I trusted, with whom I share a certain sensibility,” Carell told Daily Variety. “I have some ideas for films, but I’ve gotten to know so many people who are funny, talented and fertile with ideas that I’m confident this very strong base of friendships will lead to projects.”

Carell also plans to produce pics that will not be starring vehicles for him.

“Finding things to do as an actor is the first order of business, I suppose, but I’m not limited to things in my wheelhouse,” Carell said. “I’m also looking for films I can produce that aren’t right for me as an actor.”

Carell is currently shooting the fifth season of “The Office.” He hasn’t set his next star vehicle but is attached with Tina Fey to play a married couple in the 20th Century Fox comedy “Date Night,” which Josh Klausner wrote and Shawn Levy will direct.

Endeavor and Media Four rep Carell.

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