Chappelle, U bake ‘Rufus’

NEW YORK — After toplining and co-writing the Universal comedy “Half Baked,” comic Dave Chappelle has been set to star in and co-write the comedy “Rufus,” which Robert Simonds will produce at U.

Chappelle again will team with writing partner Neal Brennan, whose film “Half Baked” opens Jan. 16. “Rufus” is based on an idea from comic Tony Woods, who will receive co-writing credit on the script.

“Half Baked” strives for laughs in the irreverent topic of pot smoking, but “Rufus” shoots for yucks in more controversial territory: slavery in the 1800s. The title character is a slave who always gets the better of his master.

It’s Chappelle’s fourth outing with Universal. The relationship began with “The Nutty Professor,” and he’s also developing “King of the Park,” a Chappelle-star vehicle being scripted by Vince McKewin for Imagine, with Tom Shadyac attached to direct.

Chappelle is repped by UTA and managed by Barry Katz Entertainment. Brennan’s deal was brokered by UTA, and Woods is repped by the Paul Kohner Agency.

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