Topher Grace is in negotiations to play Dennis Quaid’s boss in “Synergy,” the next pic due from Paul and Chris Weitz.
Pic will be the first produced by the Weitz brothers’ Depth of Field shingle for Universal Pictures.
“Synergy” follows a veteran magazine ad man (Quaid) who, after a corporate merger, finds himself with a twentysomething business school grad boss, who would be played by Grace.
After a rocky start, the two form a friendship that is upset after the young boss has an affair with his new employee’s daughter. That role is still to be cast.
Paul Weitz, who wrote and will helm “Synergy,” said he made his casting choices because Grace could play an affable ambitiousness against Quaid’s more rugged masculinity.
“When you have two characters who are foils, you want to cast them as different as possible,” Weitz said. “Topher reminds me of a Billy Wilder hero; he’s really funny with a dark side, like Jack Lemon in ‘The Apartment.’ ”
Chris Weitz will produce. At Depth of Field, Andrew Miano is exec producing and Kerry Kohansky co-producing.
Overseeing the pic at Universal are production prexy Scott Stuber and exec VP Ally Brecker-Shearmur.
A March start is planned.
While Grace recently reupped and received a healthy raise to do another two seasons of “That ’70s Show” at Fox, the young thesp has been taking on film roles.
He recently wrapped DreamWorks’ “Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!!!,” in which he plays a West Virginia grocery store bag boy who battles with a Hollywood hunk for the affections of his longtime love, played by Kate Bosworth.
Grace is mixing his television work with the lensing of “P.S.,” Dylan Kidd’s followup to “Roger Dodger,” in which an older divorced woman (Laura Linney) is convinced he is the reincarnation of her high school sweetheart.
He also appears in “Mona Lisa Smile,” due out from Revolution in December.
Grace is repped by William Morris and attorney Michael Gendler.