Phillips taps scribes for ‘Staycation’

Warners has hired Manfredi, Hay for film

Warner Bros. has hired Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay to write “Staycation,” a film that Todd Phillips will produce through his WB-based Green Hat Films banner.

Phillips hatched the concept and brought it to Manfredi and Hay. The title gives a clue to the story, but Phillips and the studio would not divulge a logline, though sources said that, as with Phillips’ comedies like “The Hangover,” this will be a male-driven laffer.

Phillips is producing, along with Alan Riche and Peter Riche, but he has made no commitment to direct at this point. Green Hat’s Scott Budnick will be exec producer along with Robert Kosberg and Bruce Nash.

Much like comedy director-producer peers like Judd Apatow, Phillips is using the success of “The Hangover” to develop a coterie of reliable writers as WB gets further into the laffer game.

The scribes rewrote “Man-Witch,” an original script by Josh Stolberg and Bobby Florsheim, about a schoolteacher who abruptly discovers he possesses witchlike abilities and is sent to “witch school” by the coven that takes him in.

Phillips nearly directed the project with Jack Black until the actor dropped out. “The Hangover” star Zach Galifianakis was briefly attached, until Phillips decided to next direct the comedy “Due Date” with the actor. He will produce “Man-Witch” with Neal Moritz, and Galifianakis is no longer attached to it.

Manfredi and Hay, who started out writing the dramas “Aeon Flux” and “Crazy/Beautiful,” most recently scripted “Clash of the Titans” for WB and shepherded it through production, and they are currently writing “The Boys,” an action comedy adaptation of the Garth Ennis graphic novels, for Sony and Moritz. The scribes also wrote the supernatural comedy “R.I.P.D.” for Universal.

The scribes are repped by UTA, Phillips by CAA.

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