Neil Patrick Harris turns director on 'Aaron and Sarah'


Hollywood Renaissance man Neil Patrick Harris is taking on yet another role.

The "How I Met Your Mother" star and Emmy awards host is planning to make his feature directing debut with the romantic comedy "Aaron and Sarah." The indie film has also attached Emma Roberts and Josh Hutcherson as its leads.

Written by Chad Gomez Creasey and Dara Resnik Creasey (TV's "Pushing Daisies"), the story follows a geeky guy and a popular girl who become friends as freshmen in high school and see their relationship deepen through the four years, four proms and one funeral before graduation. The spec, originally titled "B.F.F.," was purchased by Rogue Pictures several years ago before Fox 2000 picked it up out of turnaround.

David O. Russell, who just signed on to write and direct "Uncharted: Drake's Fortune" for Columbia, was on board to direct early last year. "Sydney White" helmer Joe Nussbaum was developing the film before that.

Though the film is no longer set up at Fox, it could be a likely home since the project once resided there. Sandy Stern is producing for Single Cell Pictures along with Beau Bauman and Jesse Israel.

Harris, who is repped by Paradigm and the Booh Schut Co., will next star in CBS Films' "Beastly" in March and the Columbia family film "The Smurfs" in August. He will also appear once again as a skewed version of himself in a third "Harold & Kumar" movie for Warner Bros.

Roberts, repped by Sweeney Management, is currently in theaters in "It's Kind of a Funny Story." She appeared earlier this year in "Valentine's Day" and "Twelve," and she has "What's Wrong With Virginia" and "Scream 4" hitting theaters in 2011.

Repped by ICM and the Beddingfield Co., Hutcherson most recently starred in the Focus Features comedy "The Kids Are All Right." He has the MGM remake of "Red Dawn" in the can for release next year, and he is currently shooting the horror film "Detention" before heading to Oahu for the New Line sequel "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island."

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