According to this morning's Hollywood Reporter, Paramount has scored a deal with Owen Wilson to star in a new comedy called Drillbit Taylor. Yay for Paramount! What's odd about this is the article's suggestion that the studio has been pining for the Butterscotch Stallion since production on The Secret Life of Walter Mitty -- in which he was supposed to star -- came to a halt. Am I missing something here? Since when is Owen Wilson, by himself, a lock for box office success? I mean, he's been incredibly successful in buddy-style movies (Wedding Crashers, Shanghai Noon, Zoolander), but I've never noticed any signs that people will go see a movie entirely because he's in it.

On the off-chance that I'm right to wonder about Wilson's power as a solo draw, the good news for Paramount is that there's a lot of talent already involved in this project, from John Hughes (who wrote the original treatment several years ago) to Seth Rogen (who co-wrote the screenplay) to Judd Apatow (who is producing and also advised Rogen about the script). The film is being described as a "high-concept comedy" about "two high school freshmen who are targeted by the school bully on the first day of the school year." Desperate for protection, the pair hire "what they think is a low-budget soldier of fortune [Wilson] ... but he turns out to be anything but." Ok, I admit it -- this sounds funny to me, mostly because I trust Rogen and Apatow.

The movie is being fast-tracked by Paramount, who hope to start shooting this fall, and to have it in theaters sometime next year.