Who says the majors are out of development money?
Disney has put down $900,000 against $1.6 million to acquire a comedy pitch dubbed “What’s He Got?” from Kevin Bisch (“Hitch”) that has Josh Duhamel attached to star and Walt Becker attached to direct.
Mouse’s deal comes on the heels of Paramount’s $2 million pact reached late Monday for a pitch from “The Devil Wears Prada” scribe Aline Brosh McKenna and “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” scribe Simon Kinberg to be produced by J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot banner (Daily Variety, Oct. 13).
These deals are going a long way toward taking the chill out of the air for scribes after several studios let it be known that they’re only spending coin on films for their 2010 and 2011 slates, and not on development projects beyond 2011.
But clearly, if a big opportunity comes along, they will make exceptions. Disney production chief Oren Aviv and exec veep Kristin Burr moved quickly to land the Bisch property.
Becker will produce the Bisch project with Andrew Panay and Category 5’s Brian Sher.
The pitch was described as a high-concept romantic comedy. It’s not surprising that Disney moved aggressively, given that Becker has a deal at the studio, where he directed “Wild Hogs” and “Old Dogs,” and is working on the “Wild Hogs” sequel.
Sale to Disney marks Bisch’s second big deal of the year. Scribe commanded high six-figures for “Avon Man,” a 20th Century Fox pic that has Hugh Jackman attached. Several months ago, Paramount Pictures spent seven figures upfront for the Shane Salerno-scripted “License to Steal” with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci producing.
WME reps Bisch, CAA reps Becker and ICM reps Duhamel.