Helmer ‘Ames’ to please

Chadha bends for Fox 2000, prod'n to lense in spring

Gurinder Chadha, helmer of Fox Searchlight’s hit soccer comedy “Bend It Like Beckham,” will next direct “Tucker Ames” for Fox 2000.

Chadha is currently lensing Bollywood musical version of “Pride and Prejudice,” currently titled “Bride and Prejudice,” for Pathe U.K. and Miramax.

Pic, being produced by Laura Ziskin, Christina Steinberg and Jon Turteltaub, is expected to start shooting next spring. Fox 2000’s Elizabeth Gabler and Carla Hacken are overseeing the project.

“Ames,” with a new draft being overseen by Chadha, is a comedy centering on a multibillionaire computer mogul who decides to go AWOL right in the middle of testimony for a civil suit.

He finds refuge by getting hired at a small theater company where he falls in love with the play’s director and learns some self truths while playing a less-than-flattering caricature of himself.

Miramax will distribute “Prejudice” domestically after it pre-bought North American and Latin American distribution rights to the film in May.

Chadha, repped by ICM, previously directed pics including “What’s Cooking?” and “Bhaji on the Beach.”

Fox Searchlight will re-expand “Beckham” this weekend, with the film reaching wide release for the first time. Through Sunday, the modestly budgeted pic had rung up $26.3 million domestically.

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