Kaufman, Roach pals at Warners


Warner Bros. Pictures has picked up an original buddy-comedy project from Ken Kaufman, with Jay Roach on board to direct. Roach also is producing with his Everyman Pictures partner Jennifer Perini.

The project, described as an off-center comedy and bought as a pitch, follows two party- loving friends who are as close as brothers. When one of them dies in a fluke accident, the other succumbs to grief until he meets a stranger who eerily resembles his dead friend, only shorter and nerdier. He then sets out to corrupt him and refashion him (a la "Vertigo") into his lost buddy.

Greg Silverman is overseeing for Warners along with Elishia Holmes.

Kaufman's credits include Universal's "Curious George" as well as Columbia's Ron Howard-helmed "The Missing" and Warners' "Space Cowboys" for director Clint Eastwood. He is repped by Endeavor and attorney Keith Fleer.

Roach, who produced "Borat" with Sacha Baron Cohen, was the helmer behind "Meet the Parents" and its offspring, "Meet the Fockers," as well as the "Austin Powers" movies. He recently produced "Charlie Bartlett," a comedy that premiered at Tribeca and stars Anton Yelchin, Robert Downey Jr. and Hope Davis. The film is scheduled to be released Aug. 3 via MGM.

Roach is repped by CAA, Mosaic and Behr Abramson, Kaller.