PASQUIN PUTS ‘FIRST’ THING FIRST

NEW YORK — Following his second consecutive hit film with Tim Allen for the half-pint set, “Jungle 2 Jungle” director John Pasquin is venturing into adult terrain. Pasquin has signed a deal to develop “First Gentleman” as a directing project with Witt-Thomas Films at Warner Bros.

The comedy, inspired by the 1964 WB comedy “Kisses for My President,” will be rewritten under Pasquin’s supervision, with the director intent on making it one of his next projects.

The Bob Kushell-scripted comedy came about as part of a Witt-Thomas effort to draft TV writers for movies. Kushell, who has produced “3rd Rock From the Sun” and written for “The Simpsons” and “Dream On,” suggested a new take on the old WB comedy. A successful businessman finds himself giving up his corporate life and picking out White House china patterns when his politician wife becomes the first female president.

The project was developed by Witt-Thomas veep Kim Roth and president Ed McDonnell, the latter of whom will produce with Paul Junger Witt and Tony Thomas, along with Kimberly Brent, the former WB exec who now runs Pasquin’s Paradox Prods. The Warner Bros. exec is co-president Bill Gerber.

Pasquin, who last directed Allen in “The Santa Clause,” is content to stay in the fish-out-of-water genre common to his first two films, but wanted to do an adult pic.

“What I’m interested in, other than the fact there’s no children in this movie, is that it’s about the healing of a relationship under intense public scrutiny,” Pasquin said. “The husband gives up a successful career to be cast in a role held exclusively by women. That’s where the comedy comes in, but I’m more interested in the man re-examining himself and his relationship with his wife.”

The director, who is developing a sitcom for ABC, is also working with Roger Birnbaum on the Caravan comedy “The Score,” Michael Leeson’s script about aging rockers who rob a bank. He owes Disney another pic, but Pasquin’s not terribly interested in sequelizing either “Santa Clause” or “Jungle 2 Jungle.”

Pasquin is repped by CAA’s Jack Rapke. Kushell’s repped by Chris Silbermann of Broder Kurland Webb Uffner.

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