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Director Jonathan Levine is set to reteam with his 50/50 stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen for an Untitled Xmas Comedy. Sony beat out several studios to nab the project, which is on the fast track for a summer 2014 start.
The film revolves around three childhood best friends who reunite in New York City for their annual tradition of going out on Christmas Eve. Gordon-Levitt and Rogen will play two of the best friends, with the third lead role still to be cast.
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The project also reunites the 50/50 trio with Joe Drake and Nathan Kahane, whose company Mandate Pictures — now named Good Universe — produced and co-financed 50/50. Rogen and Evan Goldberg‘s Point Grey Pictures also are on board to produce Xmas.
50/50, which centered on a 27-year-old man’s (Gordon-Levitt) struggles after a cancer diagnosis, became a critical hit and was nominated for a best picture Golden Globe. The film cost $8 million and earned $39 million worldwide.
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Xmas was shopped as a package over the weekend and sparked heated interest from several studios, including Sony, Universal and Paramount. In a competitive situation, Sony emerged as the winner before the dust settled late Monday afternoon. Sony has a strong relationship with Point Grey, coming off last year’s hit comedy This Is the End. The studio also is making Rogen’s and Goldberg’s North Korea-set comedy The Interview.
Levine wrote the screenplay for Xmas. Rogen, Goldberg and Point Grey’s James Weaver are producing. Drake and Kahane will executive produce alongside Kyle Hunter and Ariel Shaffir.
Good Universe, which produced the recent comedy Last Vegas, also has the upcoming Rogen vehicle Neighbors at Universal as well as Angelfall, an adaptation of Susan Ee‘s bestselling book series, to be produced by Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert.
Gordon-Levitt is repped by WME and attorney Karl Austen. Rogen and Goldberg are handled by UTA and attorney Fred Toczek. Rogen is additionally managed by Marsha McManus. Levine is represented by CAA and attorney Todd Stern. Dan Freedman negotiated the deals on behalf of Good Universe.
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