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Fox 2000 gets ‘Trouble’

Studio co-producing with U

Fox 2000 has embarked on a remake of the 1932 Ernst Lubitsch romantic romp, “Trouble in Paradise,” hiring Michael Seitzman (“Here On Earth”) to pen the screenplay.

And in a rare pairing with another studio, Fox, which will cover development expenses of the project, will likely team with Universal Pictures to co-produce the pic.

The project is being developed under the title “The Honest Finder,” which is the name of the Alador Laszlo (also credited as Laszlo Alador) play from which “Trouble” was adapted.

While the comedy is said to be a personal favorite of Fox 2000 topper Laura Ziskin, putting the deal together hasn’t been a cakewalk. Fox controlled the rights to the legit piece, but Universal owns the rights to the original film (which was released by Paramount). After prolonged negotiations, Fox and U worked out an arrangement by which Fox 2000 will develop the project inhouse. Then, if the film proceeds to production, Fox and U will co-finance the pic and split worldwide distribution rights.

“Trouble in Paradise” followed the exploits of a pair of romantically linked thieves who try to con a wealthy widow. The dowager ends up being more clever than the duo anticipated and the con man ends up in the middle of a love triangle between his partner and his onetime mark.

Seitzman — who penned Fox 2000’s current production, “Here On Earth,” the Mark Piznarski-helmed romance starring Leelee Sobieski, Chris Klein and Josh Hartnett — is now at work on the screenplay and will update the pic to present day with characters in their 20s.

Fox 2000’s Ashley Kramer is overseeing the project for the studio.

Seitzman also penned, along with Stuart Birnbaum, the screenplay for “One Last Fling” at Hollywood Pictures; and the political thriller “Red Son,” about activist Leonard Peltier, which is not currently set up.

The New Jersey-reared scribe also is attached to direct his screenplay, “Princess of Paradise Park,” which his reps at the William Morris Agency currently are putting together as an indie pic.

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