'Swing Vote' helmer boards Rio-set comedy

Stone Village Prods. has tapped Joshua Michael Stern (“Swing Vote”) to direct Brazil-set comedy “Carnaval,” with production set to begin in January in Rio de Janeiro.

Stone Village will finance the $20 million project with a private equity partner.

Scott Steindorff (“The Lincoln Lawyer”) of Stone Village, David Styne, Dylan Russell and Scott LaStaiti serve as producers.

Peter Frucht-man will exec produce.

“Carnaval,” penned by Styne and rewritten by Stern, is envisioned as an R-rated comedy about a sports scout sent by his boss to Rio during Carnaval to recruit a soccer phenom no one has been able to reach, with the promise that if he hooks the big fish he’ll inherit the company. In addition to the distractions and temptations of Carnaval, his immature wanna-be-rockstar best friend insists on joining the trip, further complicating the mission by falling in the love with a local girl — who happens to be the soccer champ’s ex-girlfriend.

“After shooting a couple of films in Brazil and experiencing Carnaval, I can’t think of a better setting in the world for a fun comedy,” said Steindorff. “Josh’s comedic sense is right on for this.”

Stern is repped by CAA and 3 Arts.

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