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Tim Dowling to rewrite vidgame-themed ‘Pixels’

Sony/Happy Madison pic adds Seth Gordon as exec producer

Sony Pictures and Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison banner have tapped their “Just Go With It” scribe Tim Dowling to rewrite “Pixels,” which has added “The King of Kong” helmer Seth Gordon as an executive producer.

Pic, which is being eyed as a potential starring vehicle for Sandler, will be developed as a possible helming gig for Gordon, who is officially attached to direct several projects around town including a sequel to last year’s hit comedy “Horrible Bosses.”

Pixels” is an adaptation of writer-director Patrick Jean’s buzzed-about short film, which depicted popular 1980s video game characters attacking New York City.

Longtime Sandler collaborator Tim Herlihy was hired to write the original draft of “Pixels” back in November 2010. While his script was in line with Happy Madison’s unique brand of humor, the studio wanted more of a tentpole-sized action-comedy in the vein of “Ghostbusters,” so Dowling will be tasked with making the project a bit bigger and broader in scope.

Gordon was brought on because of his experience working with veteran gamers on “King of Kong,” as the protags in “Pixels” will likely be video game experts who are recruited by the government to help deal with the threat.

Dowling was named one of Variety’s 10 Screenwriters to Watch in 2010. Lately, Dowling has added action to his resume, having penned the Chris Pine-Tom Hardy pic “This Means War,” as well as the “Midnight Run” sequel for Universal. He also wrote “Uptown Saturday Night” for Warner Bros. and Will Smith’s Overbook Entertainment banner, and did a page-one rewrite on DreamWorks’ untitled office comedy.

Gordon, who just wrapped Universal’s Jason Bateman-Melissa McCarthy laffer “Identity Thief,” is also attached to direct MGM’s “WarGames” remake and Disney’s romantic comedy “Ground Control to Major Tom.”

Dowling is repped by CAA, Mosaic and attorney Rick Genow. Gordon is repped by WME, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and attorney Warren Dern.

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