The studio came out on top of a heavy bidding war for the project, beating out Lionsgate and Sony among others, and is in the thick of negotiations. Financial terms were not disclosed.
If the deals are made, Krasinski will write, direct, produce and star and Reynolds will co-star in the tale of a man who can see and talk to people’s imaginary friends, befriending those that have been forgotten or discarded. However, some imaginary friends, lacking love and friendship, turn to the dark side, and it’s up to Reynolds’ character to save the world from those that become evil.
The package hit the desks of studios early last week, immediately sparking interest due to the names involved and the high-concept nature of the story. Reynolds will also produce via his shingle, Maximum Effort.
For Reynolds, Friends will mark the actor’s second high-profile package to be sold in a bidding war in as many weeks. Apple earlier paid a handsome price to land a comedic and musical interpretation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol that Reynolds will headline opposite Will Ferrell. He next stars in Michael Bay’s Netflix movie 6 Underground, as well as in Free Guy, Shawn Levy’s adventure comedy for Fox/Disney.
Krasinski established himself as a leading man and director with the runaway hit A Quiet Place and is now in postproduction on a sequel. Paramount is behind the movies (the second installment is set for a March 20, 2020, release) and the studio was keen to keep the actor-filmmaker in its family, moving aggressively to snag Imaginary Friends away from rivals.
Reynolds is repped by WME and Sloane Offer. Krasinski is repped by WME and Schreck Rose.