Landis lines up for ‘Missionary’

Helmer finds place with 'Position' pic

Helmer John Landis has signed on to direct “The Missionary Position” for production shingle Thousand Words.

Comedy, penned by Glen Brackenridge and Curtis Brien, centers on a hardened criminal who disguises himself as a missionary to evade the police and recover his loot. But when he meets his Christian companion, the thief realizes prison never looked so good.

Thousand Words toppers Palmer West and Jonah Smith are producing and co-financing the film, skedded to go before cameras next summer. Billygoat Pictures’ Bill Straus and Sandbox Entertainment’s Noah Emmerich and Daniel Schnider exec produce.

“The Missionary Position” is a “very funny screenplay about an extremely relevant subject,” Landis said.

Landis most recently directed “Deerwoman” for Showtime and is in pre-production on “Bat Boy.”

Sandbox also is developing a drama, “Graff,” and two comedy projects at New Line, “Humbuggin’ ” and “Armageddagain.” Straus and his Billygoat shingle co-produced “The Man,” starring Samuel L. Jackson and Eugene Levy.

West and Smith most recently produced the Richard Linklater-directed “A Scanner Darkly,” starring Keanu Reeves, for Warner Independent. Shingle also has “Right at Your Door,” which was plucked to screen at the Sundance Film Festival in dramatic competition.