Jack Black to Star in Michael Winterbottom Comedy (Cannes)

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Jack Black is to star in Michael Winterbottom's Bailout, a comedy based on Jess Walter's novel, The Financial Lives of The Poets.

Walter penned the screenplay from his own novel which details the story of one man's attempt to come back from the brink of financial ruin after meeting a couple of losers in a late night supermarket.

Ealing Metro International and Prescience, financiers of Oscar winner The King's Speech have boarded the project to finance and handle worldwide sales.

Winterbottom will direct Bailout, which is set to shoot in August 2011, in the U.S.

The film will be produced by Michael Besman, Melissa Parmenter, Black, Ben Cooley and Priyanka Mattoo for Ealing Metro.

The Revolution (Parmenter), Ballyhoo (Besman) and Electric Dynamite (Black, Cooley, Mattoo) production is in pre-production and being touted to buyers at this year's Marche du Film.

Winterbottom said Walter's script achieves the "rare feat of being funny and true at the same time.”

Ealing Metro managing director Will Machin noted Bailout marks the first fresh project for Ealing Metro after the recent merger of Ealing and Metropolis/Prescience’s respective sales operations.

Machin told The Hollywood Reporter that the film is a good example of the sort of U.S. independent commercial projects "that form a major part of the ambitions for our slate."

Black and Winterbottom are both repped by WME and Winterbottom also by Greg Hunt of Independent Talent. ICM's Ron Bernstein reps Jess Walter.

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