Jason Bateman to Star in, Direct FBI Wedding Comedy for Universal

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Jason Bateman

Playwright David Bar Katz is rewriting the project, which began life at Warner Bros. as a vehicle for Steve Carell.

Universal is looking to reteam with Jason Bateman.

The studio behind Bateman's feature helming debut Bad Words has put the actor-director on its untitled FBI wedding comedy.

Playwright David Bar Katz is writing the new take for the project, which tells of two undercover FBI agents who pretend to fall in love and use their wedding as a law enforcement trap against the mob.

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Bateman's involvement marks the latest twist in the development of the project. It began life at Warner Bros. as a vehicle for Steve Carell. It was then put into turnaround and picked up by Universal with Carell still attached as star and producer. Carell, however, is no longer involved. 

Earlier drafts for the FBI wedding project were written by David Flebotte and Phil Alden Robinson.

Bateman will also produce with James Garavente via their Aggregate Films banner and Bob Cooper for his Landscape Entertainment shingle.

The project would not mark Bateman's follow-up to Bad Words, as he currently is in preproduction on The Family Fang, which he will star in and direct. The Family Fang begins shooting in New York on July 21 and runs until Sept. 2.

Universal also enjoyed a breakout comedy hit with Identity Thief, which Bateman produced and starred in opposite Melissa McCarthy. Bateman's production company Aggregate has a first-look deal with Universal.

Bar Katz is best known for co-writing and directing the stage show FREAK starring John Leguizamo at San Francisco's Theatre on the Square. He recently wrote the pilot Sobering for Showtime and Apostle Pictures, and his play Philip Roth in Khartoum is in development for West End producers the Ambassador Group.

Universal's Kristin Lowe is shepherding the Bar Katz pitch for the studio.

Bateman is repped by CAA. Katz is repped by CAA and Untitled.

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