Duo join Portman and Kutcher in untitled comedy

Lake Bell and Guy Brannum have joined Paramount’s untitled Ivan Reitman comedy opposite Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher.

Project, previously known as “Friends With Benefits,” centers of the question of whether two long-term friends can have a purely sexual relationship without falling in love. Reitman’s directing from Elizabeth Meriwether’s script.

Paramount, which has set a Jan. 7 release, has set the pic up with Reitman’s Montecito Picture Co., in association with Portman’s shingle handsomecharliefilms and Kutcher’s Katalyst. Cold Spring Pictures and Spyglass Entertainment are co-financing with Par.

Bell will portray a producer on “Secret High,” the television show for which Kutcher’s character works, while writer/standup Brannum will make his feature acting debut.

Bell recently starred in “It’s complicated” and will be in season 2 of HBO’s “How to Make It America.” Brannum’s a writer and regular panelist on “Chelsea Lately” and is writing “Bite Me” for Warner Bros. and Mad Chance along with adapting his spec pilot “A Young Woman’s Guide to Fascism” as a feature for Handler’s Borderline Amazing.

Bell’s repped by UTA and The Burstein Co. Brannum recently signed with Anonymous Content.

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