Chabat bulks up in U.S., France

'Didier,' 'Consequences,' 'Dubber' among Wamerica's activites

Multi-hyphenate comic talent Alain Chabat has unveiled a raft of projects in the U.S. and his native Gaul, including his next acting and directing roles.

In the U.S., where he launched Wamerica 2½ years ago, the company is developing an English lingo adaptation of Chabat’s French hit “Didier” about a dog that becomes a man.

Remake project languished in development at Miramax for at least five years before the option ran out. Claude Berri, the original pic’s producer with Chabat, will have a producer credit on the new pic.

Company has also just taken English lingo adaptation rights to “Un Petit Jeu Sans Consequences,” a Gallic comedy that was adapted from a stage play. Story is about a couple who pretend they are splitting up just to see how their friends will react, triggering a chain of unexpected events.

It is also developing “The Dubber,” which is being penned by “Dukes of Hazzard” helmer Jay Chandrasekhar and co-written with David Gilchrist, for Chandrasekhar to direct. A buddy comedy, pic tells of a Hollywood star who goes into retirement, much to the chagrin of the man who has made a career out of dubbing his voice into French.

Wamerica bought the pitch in September and is expecting the first draft soon.

On home turf, Chabat will next direct hot comic talent Gad Elmaleh, in a new comedy he has penned, “Mille Mots” (A thousand words), his first helming effort since “RRRrrrr!!!” (Wamerica’s English-lingo remake of “RRRrrrr!!!” is set up with Warner Bros.)

Pic is slated to go into production in January. Elmaleh will play a chatterbox who has urgently to change his gabby ways when he is given 1000 words to live.

Pic will be produced by Chabat’s Gallic company Chez Wam, with Studio Canal financing.

The two companies have a five-year first look deal.

Chabat will next star in “Rent A Wife” a comedy helmed by Eric Lartigue, which will shoot in September.

Back in the U.S., company is casting “Maxx Powers,” a romantic comedy set up at Disney and penned by John Aibel and Glenn Berger. Pic, based on an original idea by Chabat, is a love triangle between a man, his girlfriend and the ex – who happens to be Superman.

Pic is one of a dozen English lingo projects being developed by L.A. based exec Stephanie Danan.

Company is also working on a mockumentary by Larry Charles, of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” fame. Another project is a bigscreen version of “Lil’ Abner.”