Reese Witherspoon a 'Pharm Girl' at heart

She'll star in and produce the Universal comedy

Universal and Reese Witherspoon are going into the pharmaceutical business.

The studio is developing "Pharm Girl," an aspirational comedy centering on one woman's odyssey through the drug industry.

"Bad Santa" scribes Glenn Ficarra and John Requa are writing the screenplay and in talks to direct. Witherspoon is producing via her Type A banner and attached to the lead role.

The project centers on a woman (Witherspoon) who gets a job at a pharma powerhouse but begins to see the underbelly of the industry as she rises through the company's ranks. Tracy Falco and Maradith Frenkel are overseeing for the studio.

The modern pharmaceutical industry has played a villainous role in Hollywood pics dating to "The Fugitive," and several years ago it was at the center of a conspiracy in the Focus Features thriller "The Constant Gardener."

The CAA- and Management 360-repped Witherspoon, who came to prominence in comedies like "Election" and "Legally Blonde," segued to a more dramatic role with her Oscar-winning turn in "Walk the Line." But she has recently kept the focus on comedies, starring opposite Vince Vaughn in "Four Christmases" and signing on to a new comedy from James Brooks at Columbia; she's also considering starring in Fox's sci-fi comedy "Used Guys."

As a producer, she has been ramping up her slate: In addition to "Christmases," which she produced, she and Type A are attached to produce thriller "Bell Witch" and romantic comedy "Around the World in 80 Dates," both at Universal.

Ficarra and Requa, repped by WME and BenderSpink, most recently helmed and wrote "I Love You Phillip Morris," the Jim Carrey-Ewan McGregor dramedy about the romance between a con artist and a man he meets in prison.
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