Gray turns pitch into helming gig at Searchlight

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Fox Searchlight has bought screenwriter Pamela Gray's un-titled pitch for Gray to direct. It will be her directorial debut.

Gray ("A Walk on the Moon," "Music of the Heart") will pen the screenplay about a group of women who reunite around one woman's important milestone. She hopes to finish the screenplay in the next couple of months.

Described by Gray as a "female 'Big Chill,' " the comedy revolves around the issues female friends face throughout their relationships.

"For a writer like me who loves writing female-generated stories to have the opportunity to have seven strong female characters in one screenplay is very exciting for me," Gray said.

Fox Searchlight senior vp production Jeremy Steckler will oversee, along with creative executive Jason Hargrove. Karen Rosenfelt ("The Devil Wears Prada") will produce.

The project, which is based on true events, originated from a bet between Steckler and Gray before Gray took off on a trip with a group of girlfriends.

"Jeremy said, 'I bet you $50 you'll get a movie out of this trip,' " Gray said. "I think I owe Jeremy $50 now."

Steckler and Gray worked together on a Paramount project for Steckler's previous employer, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura. Gray is working on a second rewrite of the comedic screenplay "Sleeping With Schubert," based on a novel by author Bonnie Marson.

Gray is repped by UTA.


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