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Paramount will tackle ‘Yard’ redo

Sandler producing pigskin prison pic; no plans to star

Paramount has decided it can score again with “The Longest Yard.”

The studio has set an updated remake of the 1974 Burt Reynolds drama-comedy with Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Prods. and is seeking a writer on the project.

“It’s a movie we all loved growing up, and it will really work now with an updated feel,” said Happy Madison partner Jack Giarraputo.

Par and the Sony-based shingle plan to adhere to the basic storyline of the original, in which Reynolds portrayed retired pro football quarterback Paul Crewe, who is sent to prison and forced by a sadistic warden to lead a team of inmates against a team of guards.

Pic, helmed by Robert Aldrich and written by Albert S. Ruddy and Tracy Keenan Wynn, also starred Eddie Albert and Bernadette Peters. “Yard” was a solid grosser for Paramount with about $46 million in domestic box office, helping to establish Reynolds as a leading draw in that era.

Plans for the remake call for boosting the comedy angles, bringing in contemporary elements such as the Internet and possibly partnering with Par-based MTV Films with an eye to casting urban music stars in the pic. Project is not being eyed as a starring vehicle for Sandler.

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