According to Variety, Warner Bros. has embraced the spirit of giving this holiday season by bestowing an impressive $2 million against $2.5 million on writer Dan Fogelman to script a project for the star of NBC's 'The Office.' The amount makes this the largest spec sale of the year in Hollywood. 'Tis the season to be jolly -- especially if you're Steve Carell.
According to Variety, Warner Bros. has embraced the spirit of giving this holiday season by bestowing an impressive $2 million against $2.5 million on writer Dan Fogelman to script a project for the star of NBC's 'The Office.' The amount makes this the largest spec sale of the year in Hollywood.
Fogelman, who previously has made a name for himself penning animated hits including 'Cars' and 'Bolt,' will this time be working with live actors for a story the industry trade described as having "a tone comparable to 'Love Actually,'" adding that "Carell will play a father whose life unravels while he deals with a marital crisis and tries to manage his relationship with his children."
The spec likely commanded such a high price thanks to the difficulty Warner Bros. is having coming up with an appropriate vehicle for Carell's populist brand of comedy. The actor is still in high demand thanks to his blockbuster turn in 'The 40-Year-Old Virgin,' but his availability is limited due to his television commitments. The studio has already delayed production on 'Get Smart 2' for a second year while Carell mulls over possible projects; Fogelman's spec script now joins 'Mail-Order Groom,' which would re-team Carell with his 'Date Night' co-star Tina Fey, as contenders to be produced by Carell's Carousel shingle.
Choosing the right project is of particular importance to Carell given the relatively modest success of his recent projects compared to 'Virgin''s surprise take; 'Dan in Real Life' and 'Get Smart,' for example, were both minor box office gainers while 'Evan Almighty' was swept away on a tide of bad reviews and poor word of mouth. While there are high hopes for 'Date Night,' which is scheduled to hit theaters in April, the star's limited availability means that each project takes on larger importance for the studio in terms of building and maintaining their star's career momentum.
Whether or not Fogelman's project will actually make it to theaters any time soon, then, remains to be seen. In the meantime, check out the 'Date Night' trailer and decide for yourself whether another team-up with it-girl Fey is a better idea.
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