'Blades of Glory' team will direct comedy

Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman have signed on to star in the fertility-themed comedy “The Baster” for Mandate Pictures.

Will Speck and Josh Gordon, who previously teamed for the comedy “Blades of Glory,” will helm “The Baster” from a screenplay by Allan Loeb (“21”). Film is based on Jeffrey Eugenides’ short story “Baster,” which was first published in The New Yorker.

“The Baster” centers on a neurotic and insecure man (Bateman) who finds out his best friend (Aniston) wants to have a child through artificial insemination. He surreptitiously replaces her donor’s semen with his own and is then forced to live with the secret that he is the child’s real father.

Bona Fide Prods.’ Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, the team behind “Election” and “Little Miss Sunshine,” are set to produce. Mandate prexy Nathan Kahane is exec producing alongside Aniston and her Echo Films partner Kristen Hahn.

Film will begin shooting in the spring.

Project marks the second artificial insemination laffer to get the green light in recent weeks. CBS Films is moving forward with the Jennifer Lopez starrer “Plan B.” Last year’s comedy “Baby Mama,” also about a fertility-challenged woman, proved to be a box-office success for Universal Pictures, earning $64.3 million worldwide.

Aniston’s most recent film, “He’s Just Not that Into You,” opens Friday. She will also star in “Management” with Steve Zahn and Woody Harrelson, bowing in May, and “Traveling” with Aaron Eckhart, which will be released in the fall.

Bateman, who co-starred in Mandate’s “Juno,” is also producing and will star in Universal Pictures’ “The Remarkable Fellows,” which is based on his original idea. His upcoming films include the political thriller “State of Play” for Universal and the Mike Judge-directed comedy “Extract.” He recently wrapped production in a supporting role in the Ricky Gervais comedy “This Side of the Truth.”

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