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> What's He Got?, Walt Disney Pictures
messaggio 18/10/2009, 23:24
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Disney picks up 'What's He Got?'
First project under new boss Rich Ross

By Borys Kit

Oct 14, 2009, 03:55 PM ET
Disney has got its first project under the Rich Ross regime.

The studio, which Ross took over last week as chairman, has picked up "What's He Got?" a comedy project from Kevin Bisch, with Josh Duhamel attached to star. Andrew Panay, Brian Sher and Walt Becker are producing, with Becker possibly directing as well.

Plot details are not what we got, though it is known to be a buddy comedy under the Disney banner.

Bisch's deal was in the mid to high-six figures, a not insignificant amount in this time where many studios such as Universal and Warner Bros. have run out of development funds while others are scaling back buying projects that are not comic book or toy brand-related.

Oren Aviv and Kristin Burr, who bought the pitch in the room, are overseeing.

Panay, a former partner at Tapestry Films with credits such as "Wedding Crashers" under his belt, is a Disney-based producer while Sher is a former ICM agent who struck on his own with management-production shingle Category 5.

Becker directed "Van Wilder" which Panay produced. The two reteamed for the upcoming Disney comedy "Old Dogs," starring John Travolta and Robin Williams. Becker also directed "Wild Hogs" for Disney, the surprise hit which grossed $168 million domestically in 2007.

Bisch, repped by WME and Category 5, wrote "Hitch" and set up a family comedy with Panay at Disney in 2005.

Duhamel, last seen in "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," next stars opposite Kristen Bell in "When In Rome" for Disney. He is currently shooting "Life as We Know It" with Katherine Heigl. He is repped by ICM and John Carrabino Management.

Disney hitches to laff pitch
Duhamel, Becker attached to comedy film 'Got'
Josh Duhamel

Walt Becker

Disney has put down $900,000 against $1.6 million to acquire a comedy pitch dubbed "What's He Got?" from Kevin Bisch ("Hitch") that has Josh Duhamel attached to star and Walt Becker attached to direct.

Mouse's deal comes on the heels of Paramount's $2 million pact reached late Monday for a pitch from "The Devil Wears Prada" scribe Aline Brosh McKenna and "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" scribe Simon Kinberg to be produced by J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot banner (Daily Variety, Oct. 13).

These deals are going a long way toward taking the chill out of the air for scribes after several studios let it be known that they're only spending coin on films for their 2010 and 2011 slates, and not on development projects beyond 2011.

But clearly, if a big opportunity comes along, they will make exceptions. Disney production chief Oren Aviv and exec veep Kristin Burr moved quickly to land the Bisch property.

Becker will produce the Bisch project with Andrew Panay and Category 5's Brian Sher.

The pitch was described as a high-concept romantic comedy. It's not surprising that Disney moved aggressively, given that Becker has a deal at the studio, where he directed "Wild Hogs" and "Old Dogs," and is working on the "Wild Hogs" sequel.

Sale to Disney marks Bisch's second big deal of the year. Scribe commanded high six-figures for "Avon Man," a 20th Century Fox pic that has Hugh Jackman attached. Several months ago, Paramount Pictures spent seven figures upfront for the Shane Salerno-scripted "License to Steal" with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci producing.

WME reps Bisch, CAA reps Becker and ICM reps Duhamel.

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