Actor to star in comedy from Jeff Bushell

Summit Entertainment’s in negotiations to set up comedy “Ricky Stanicky,” with James Franco onboard for the lead role.

Company’s in talks to acquire the “Ricky” script from Jeff Bushell. Michael De Luca’s producing with Smart Entertainment’s John Jacobs.

Story centers on three male friends who have used an invented friend, Ricky Stanicky, for the past two decades as an excuse to explain their way out of sticky situations. When their spouses demand to meet Stanicky, they hire an actor to portray him.

Bushell penned “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” which Jacobs produced.

Bushell and Zac Unterman of Smart are exec producing “Ricky.” De Luca’s in production on “Butter” and in post-production on “Drive Angry,” “Priest” and “Social Network.”

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