Josh Gad, Jeremy Garelick Musical Pitch Goes to Universal

Josh Gad - H 2015
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Garelick will write the screenplay and direct, while Gad will star.

Universal beat out Disney and Paramount in a heavy competition for an untitled musical comedy pitch based on a story conceived by Jeremy Garelick and Josh Gad

Garelick will write the screenplay and direct the musical, which will serve as a starring vehicle for Gad. 

The composer/lyricist team Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz will collaborate on all original songs for the film.

Michael De Luca, who recently left his post at Sony to serve as a producer at Universal will produce with Gad, Garelick, Menken and Schwartz. Kristin Lowe will oversee the project for Universal.

There was a lot of interest in the pitch, with many studios and production houses vying for the project. It came down to Paramount (which has become more aggressive in recent weeks under the new leadership of Marc Evans), Disney (who has a strong relationship with Gad after Frozen and the upcoming Beauty and the beast) and Universal, according to sources. Universal has had some strong success with musical fare recently, including Les Miserables and Pitch Perfect (which has a sequel set to release this summer).

This is the second big get for Universal this week. De Luca and the studio will produce The Real McCoy, based on a pitch from Bill DeBuque with Chris Pratt attached to star.

Gad is currently starring in FX’s The Comedians and will go into production next month on Beauty and The Beast. He's repped by ICM Partners, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Ziffren Brittenham LLP.

Garelick, who collaborated with Gad on this year’s comedy The Wedding Ringer, is repped by UTA and Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner & Gellman.