Col hitched to ’99’ pitch

Studio collects romantic comedy

Columbia Pictures has bought the pitch “99 Problems” by Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont for Joe Roth, Team Todd and Benderspink to produce.

Deal was for $1.25 million against $2 million.

Pic is a romantic comedy in the vein of “Liar Liar,” about a guy with commitment issues.

Producing are Joe Roth; Team Todd’s Suzanne and Jennifer Todd; and Benderspink’s Chris Bender, JC Spink and Jake Weiner.

Pic is one of the first projects announced that Roth is producing for Sony rather than Revolution, the company he founded that will release its last pictures in 2007. Most recently, Roth directed “Freedomland.”

Kaplan and Elfont wrote and directed “Can’t Hardly Wait” and “Josie and the Pussycats.” They’re also writing and directing “Married in the Morning,” which Neal Moritz is producing for Sony.

Team Todd produced the upcoming “Zoom,” starring Tim Allen, as well as the Julie Taymor musical “Across the Universe.”

Benderspink’s recent credits include “Just Friends” and “A History of Violence.”

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