Disney cheers for 'Matadors'

Anne Fletcher is on board to helm the dance comedy

Male cheerleaders are taking to the court at Disney, which has picked up the spec script "The Matadors" by Mike Bender.

Choreographer-turned-director Anne Fletcher is on board to helm the dance comedy inspired by the professional male cheerleading squad that performs at every Chicago Bulls home game. Adam Shankman and Jennifer Gibgot are producing via their Disney-based Offspring Entertainment.

Although the title may change, "Matadors" will follow two pro basketball superfans whose devotion to their home team led them to form a professional male cheerleading squad.

Fletcher played basketball growing up and was a Laker girl, exposing her to die-hard fans for whom she grew to have an affinity.

"These guys who are the ultimate fans, the biggest deed they can do is dance and cheerlead for their team," she said. "I wanted to do an all-out comedy, and having the dance elements, that was icing on the cake."

No actors are on board, but she is looking forward to the casting process.

"It's an array of guys, with all sorts of shapes and sizes," Fletcher said. We'll be able to have fun with the casting."

The studio is talking to the NBA about partnering on the project and using the league's teams.

The project was brought to Offspring by producer Alison Rosenzweig ("Windtalkers"), Michael Gaeta and Suzan Hagan, all of whom are negotiating their producing deals.

Offspring's Matthew Mizel will co-produce.

Kristin Burr will oversee the project for Disney.

The project continues the long association between Fletcher and Shankman. Fletcher worked as a choreographer on numerous films for Shankman, himself a choreographer-turned-director. She made her directorial debut on "Step Up," produced by Shankman and Gibgot.

Fletcher, repped by UTA, most recently directed the Katherine Heigl hit "27 Dresses" and is in post on Disney's "The Proposal," starring Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock.

Shankman and Offspring are in post on the Adam Sandler fantasy comedy "Bedtime Stories," which also is being produced by Gunn Films and Happy Madison.

Bender, repped by Endeavor and Benderspink, was a writer on several MTV Movie Awards and on "Not Another Teen Movie," which Fletcher choreographed. He has "Bob the Musical" set up at Disney.
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