'Badass' comedy spec to NL: Got a problem, pal?


New Line has made its first purchase since being downsized, plunking down $500,000 against $1 million for "Dan Mintner: Badass for Hire," a comedy spec script by Chad Kultgen.

Contrafilm's Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson are producing along with Mason Novick.

"It's a homage to 'Cobra,' 'Predator,' 'Missing in Action,' " Flynn said. "The baddest dude in the world in supertight jeans, chewing on a matchstick, stuck in the '80s but kicking ass in the present day."

The buy is significant because it shows that New Line is serious about remaining a buyer while also signaling the type of movies it will look to make.

Flynn said the project will be an R-rated comedy in the spirit of "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle" and "Wedding Crashers," the kind of movie that "classic" New Line was good at making and that the new iteration will be making as well.

Richard Brener, Walter Hamada and David Neustadter are overseeing for New Line. Contrafilm vp Lisa Zambri brought the script into the company.

Kultgen, repped by CAA and Novick, wrote "Burt Dickenson, The Most Powerful Magician on the Planet Earth," which is set up at New Line with Red Hour and Benderspink producing.

New Line-based Contrafilm has "Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D" opening July 11. (partialdiff)