Writer-helmer Feig getting 'Smooth' job at Warners
EmptyHigh on its upcoming Paul Feig comedy "Unaccompanied Minors," Warner Bros. Pictures is making sure the writer-director stays within the studio fold. The company has set Feig to rewrite and direct "Smooth Operator," an action comedy being produced by Jerry Weintraub via his Jerry Weintraub Prods.
The story follows a CIA agent/debonair ladies man who must train a computer nerd with less than stellar lady skills so that the guy can seduce a female operative.
"It's like a high-tech version of 'Cyrano,' " Feig said, "or like a 'Hitch'-meets-'Rush Hour.' "
Feig's plan is to make the script bigger in scope, with more physical comedy, something that he, as the creator of the much-loved quirky character show "Freaks and Geeks" or his work on "Undeclared," is not necessarily known for.
"I've always liked (physical comedy) and tried to insert it into the shows as much as I could; I'm not as high class as people think I am," he said. "I am first and foremost into character writing but the last few years I've wanted to try to bring back stuff I used to watch, movies from John Hughes, Blake Edwards, and stuff like the 'Three Stooges.' I want to bring it back in a modern sense, but it has to be based on real characters."
Weintraub Prods. hopes to make the movie in the spring, with plans to swiftly move into casting when Feig is done with the rewrite, which also will include beefing up the roles of the supporting cast. The aim is to populate the roles with comedy actors Feig has worked with in the past or has always wanted to work with.
"Paul did it with 'Unaccompanied Minors,' " Jerry Weintraub Prods. president Robert Guralnick said. "Even the smallest role had funny people in it, and that's one thing that Paul does better than anyone else. True comedy writer-directors are rare and in our estimation, Paul is one of the best."
Feig said he loves working in the feature world -- "it's just more fun" -- and has no intention of going back to television any time soon. Not that he has a choice.
"We're not letting him go back," Guralnick said.
Dan Lin is overseeing for Warners.
Weintraub, the veteran producer behind such films as "Nashville," "Diner," "Oh, God!" and the "Ocean's" series, is in post on "Nancy Drew," starring Emma Roberts, and "Ocean's Thirteen."
Feig directed and did a rewrite on "Minors," about a group of teens snowed in at an airport during the holidays. The movie opens Dec. 8. Feig is repped by WMA.