Disney swims with Fickman in 'Pool Rats'


Walt Disney Pictures has picked up "Pool Rats," a family comedy to be directed by Andy Fickman. Nichole Millard, Kathryn Price and Fickman are writing the script, which will be produced by Mark Ciardi and Gordon Gray's Mayhem Pictures.

The project reunites the creative team — including the director, writers and producers — of Disney's upcoming family comedy "The Game Plan," starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

"Rats" is a semiautobiographical story inspired by Fickman's wild times coaching a neighborhood league swim team during a summer that he says changed both his life and his swimmers. With the shenanigans that ensued, it was hard to see who the bigger troublemaker was — the coach or the kids.

The real events transpired in Houston in the 1980s, but "Rats" will be set in present-day.

The filmmakers are hoping to strike a tone similar to camp classics such as 1979's "Meatballs" and 1980's "Little Darlings."

Fickman has been developing the project with his partner Betsy Sullenger, and during filming of "Plan" decided to team up with Ciardi and Gray and bring it to Disney.

"In looking to partner with writers, I only had one choice and that was Millard and Price, who we had such a wonderful working relationship with during 'The Game Plan,' " he said.

Sullenger is executive producing.

Brigham Taylor and Todd Murata are overseeing for the studio.

Mayhem has made a name for itself making sports-themed movies such as "The Rookie," "Miracle" and "Invincible."

Fickman, repped by Endeavor and Evolution Entertainment, directed "She's the Man" and "Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical."

Millard and Price are repped by CAA.