Writers will build bigscreen ‘Self Esteem’

“The Office” scribes Brent Forrester and Mindy Kaling are looking to boost their self-esteem with a bigscreen project at Mandate Pictures.

The duo have set up “The Low Self Esteem of Lizzie Gillespie” with the team behind “Juno” and will pen the original romantic comedy, which will be produced by John Malkovich via his Mr. Mudd shingle. Mandate and Mr. Mudd collaborated on “Juno.”

Story centers on a woman whose lack of self-worth has limited her choice in men to losers. Just as she is about to hit the bottom of the barrel, her life takes an unexpected turn when she is pursued by the hottest guy ever.

Kaling, who is also an “Office” cast member, will play a supporting role.

Mr. Mudd’s Lianne Halfon and Russell Smith are also onboard to produce “Lizzie Gillespie.” Kaling and Forrester will exec produce alongside Mandate’s Nathan Kahane.

Kahane dubbed the duo “the most comically endowed writers out there.” He added, “Mindy’s unique world view injects an authentic sense of humor into her writing.”

Mr. Mudd has a first-look deal with Mandate. The two companies had enormous success with “Juno,” which became a box office and critical success. Mandate and Mr. Mudd are together developing an adaptation of the John Green novel “Paper Towns” as well as “Broken City,” a noir drama with a political twist written by 24-year-old playwright Brian Tucker.

Kaling, who is also a co-exec producer on “The Office,” directed the skein’s popular “Subtle Sexuality” webisodes and musicvideo. She recently inked a two-year deal with NBC to develop and star in her own comedy.

Forrester, who also wears a producer and director hat on “The Office,” previously worked on “King of the Hill” and “The Simpsons.” He is also developing a pilot for Imagine and Fox.

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