Becker sees Dimension in 'Runt' pic


Walt Becker, who directed the breakout hit "Wild Hogs," has sold the comedy project "Runt" to Dimension Films.

Becker and David Gallagher will co-write the screenplay, with Becker attached to direct and executive produce. Partners David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman will produce through their production company Mandeville Films.

In November 2005, Becker and Gallagher set up "Schooled" at Touchstone Pictures, with Dark Trick and Tapestry producing. The two wanted to work together again but didn't until after shooting wrapped on "Hogs."

"We sat down again and pitched each other ideas back and forth until this one surfaced," Becker said. "I see things (in my head) in trailers and could see this one in my mind. We beat out the story points and made a 20-page treatment."

The duo took it to Lieberman, who was a producer on "Hogs," and he helped flesh out the idea.

Although plot details are being kept under wraps, "Runt" is a high-concept comedy about twin brothers who are complete opposites.

"I think people will relate to it even if you're not twins because it deals with sibling rivalry," Becker said. "I grew up with a brother and I was older; he was born premature. From Day 1 he had issues with lungs, and everything was harder for him growing up. David had siblings, too. It's one of those stories that is about the Golden Child syndrome. We think it's got a lot of heartwarming stuff, in talking about accepting your family for who they are and getting past sibling differences."

Becker's "Hogs" debuted this past weekend to $39.7 million, better than originally estimated and exceeding industry expectations.

"I'm overjoyed," Becker said about the opening. "People were calling on Friday saying, 'These are great numbers,' and when they called the next day and said it went up 55% Friday to Saturday, I was like, 'Holy smokes.' I was absolutely shocked. I'm happy and overjoyed that people went in droves."

Mandeville, which last produced the Disney hit "Eight Below," is developing "The Fighter," with Matt Damon and Mark Wahlberg attached to star.

Becker is repped by ICM, Nine Yards and Sloan, Offer, Weber and Dern. Gallagher is repped by Diverse Talent Group and Sloan, Offer, Weber and Dern.

Richard Saperstein, president of production, and Matthew Stein, senior vp production, will oversee the project on behalf of Dimension.