Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment have made a deal for “Prodigal Son,” a romantic comedy that Gigi Levangie Grazer will write with Mimi James. Brian Grazer will produce.
Story revolves around a workaholic single woman who is set up on a date by her mother. Her date, a handsome, kind and caring carpenter who works at Ikea, turns out to be Jesus Christ, who’s returned for Armageddon and settled in contemporary Los Angeles.
Deal was worth high six-figures.
While Christ has been a central character in historical films like “The Passion of the Christ” and “The Nativity,” turning him into a character in a contemporary romantic comedy is new ground for a studio film. It’s also something that has to be done carefully to avoid blasphemy, Gigi Grazer acknowledged.
“It’s a love it or hate it idea, but we’re not aiming to offend,” she said. “He won’t be having sex. It’ll be a disarming romantic comedy, a story of unrequited love, sort of like ‘Splash.'”
Grazer said she came up with the idea while driving around L.A., when it occurred to her that one can just look around and feel that signs of Armageddon might already be cropping up.
Said Grazer: “You see something basic like Britney Spears showing her crazy monkey to everybody, you find yourself thinking, is this the fall of the Roman Empire?”
She’ll write the script with James, a former VH1 exec. Grazer’s screen credits include “Stepmom,” and she is the exec producer of a USA Network miniseries adaptation of her novel “The Starter Wife,” which is about to begin production with Debra Messing and Judy Davis starring for director Jon Avnet.
It’s Grazer’s second project for her husband’s company, after she wrote the pilot script “The Colony” for ABC last year.
The deal was made by WMA.