Universal OK’s ‘Land of the Lost’

Will Ferrell comedy to cost $100 million

Universal is pushing the button on “Land of the Lost” for a March start.

Decision to greenlight the Will Ferrell project surprised observers, who are aware that U had a rough ride with its $160 million comedy “Evan Almighty.” Studio sources suggest the budget of “Land of the Lost,” described as an event comedy, was recalibrated from $125 million to $100 million in order to earn its start date.

Brad Silberling will helm the bigscreen adaptation of Sid & Marty Krofft’s children’s skein of the same name. Jimmy Miller is producing along with the Kroffts; Julie Wixson-Darmody and Daniel Lupi exec produce.

Decision to move ahead effectively removes Ferrell from availability for other pre-strike projects on the cusp, such as “Himelfarb” for Warner Bros. The comedian has been attached to “Land of the Lost” for several years. Miller reps Ferrell and the Kroffts, who have long tried to get a bigscreen adaptation of their show made.

Adaptation by Chris Henchy and Dennis McNicholas revolves around a disgraced paleontologist, his assistant and a macho tour guide who find themselves in a strange world inhabited by dinosaurs, monkey people and reptilian Sleestaks.

Donna Langley spearheaded the effort to obtain rights from the Kroffts, who also produced and created smallscreen skeins such as “H.R. Pufnstuf,” “Lidsville” and “Donny and Marie.”