Nussbaum to fry ‘Worms’

'Lucas in Love' creator jumps to big screen

Joe Nussbaum, perhaps the most-buzzed-about director never to have helmed a feature, may finally be catching the long-sought worm.

Tyro is in final talks to lens “How to Eat Fried Worms,” an adaptation of a popular kids book. Pic is a co-venture between Nickelodeon Movies and Imagine Entertainment. Paramount will distribute.

Thomas Schlamme, a TV specialist who directed “So I Married an Axe Murderer,” had previously been on board to direct.

Bob Dolman (“Willow,” “Far and Away”) is working with Nussbaum on a revision to his recent draft of “Worms.” Plot indeed centers on a worm-eating contest, but larger themes are peer pressure and non-conformity.

Nussbaum made a name for himself with the eight-minute spoof “George Lucas in Love,” which helped put MediaTrip.com on the map, becoming the most watched short film on the Web. More recently, “George” videotapes have been hot sellers on Amazon.com.

Two previous feature directing deals have fallen apart for the USC grad, most recently “Special” at MGM.

Nussbaum is repped by Endeavor and managed by Bender-Spink.

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