Flipzide hires Ramirez, Lillard for 'Summer' pic


NEW YORK -- Matthew Lillard and Efren Ramirez are set to star in Flipzide Studios' "American Summer," a comedy about a pool boy and gardener who take over a Beverly Hills mansion and become neighborhood pimps.

Flipzide CEO Warren Zide is producing, and Seven Arts International is financing the film from director J.B. Rogers ("American Pie 2"). Seven Arts is also financing Adam Gierasch's horror flick "Autopsy"; both projects, with a combined budget of about $16 million, begin principal photography April 9 in New Orleans.

Lillard plays a pool boy who has managed to convince his parents he's attending Harvard. After his apartment complex undergoes termite fumigation, he moves with a pretty escort/neighbor and a young friend into an empty mansion where he works and soon stumbles into the world's oldest profession. Ramirez ("Napoleon Dynamite") plays the next-door gardener called in as "the muscle" of the operation.

"Summer" (formerly titled "Pool Boy") and "Autopsy" are the first of a three-feature, $15 million-$20 million equity financing pact between Flipzide and Seven Arts. "Autopsy," produced with Jessica Horowitz, features Jessica Lowndes, Ashley Schneider, Joe Reegan, Jenette Goldstein and Robert Lasardo.

Flipzide recently produced its first feature, "Parental Guidance Suggested," with indie producers Richard Suckle and Laura Lichstein. Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson's teen sketch sex comedy, starring Lillard, Frankie Muniz, Jamie Kennedy, Ryan Pinkston, Michael Cera and Andy Milonakis, was picked up in June by Dimension Films.

Lillard's recent credits include "The Groomsmen," "What Love Is" and "One of Our Own." Ramirez, best known as the electable Pedro in "Napoleon Dynamite," has appeared in "Employee of the Month" and "Crank." The "Summer" script was written by Julie O'Hora and Justin Ware.

Lillard is repped by CAA, Mosaic and Ziffren Brittenham. Ramirez is repped by Kazarian Spencer and Associates and Ken Jacobson.