Aniston, Bateman boarding 'Baster'


Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman are teaming for the romantic comedy "The Baster," which Mandate Pictures will shoot in the spring in New York.

Will Speck and Josh Gordon, who co-directed 2007's "Blades of Glory," will direct the feature, which screenwriter Allan Loeb ("21") has adapted from a short story by Jeffrey Eugenides published in the New Yorker.

Bateman and Aniston will play best friends Wally and Kassie. When Wally learns that Kassie plans to become pregnant through artificial insemination, he replaces the donor's semen with his own and must live with the secret that he is the father of her child.

Bona Fide Prods.' Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, whose films include the offbeat "Election" and "Little Miss Sunshine," will produce. Mandate president Nathan Kahane will executive produce with Aniston and her Echo Films partner Kristin Hahn. Mandate's Mary Lee will co-produce with Loeb and Steven Pearl. (partialdiff)