Mandate tracks 'Back'; director sought


"The Way Back," a coming-of-age dramedy that Shawn Levy was to direct and produce for Fox Searchlight, has been set up at Mandate Pictures with Levy attached only to produce.

The project, which came together quickly on the Fox lot in spring 2007 after Levy's success with "Night at the Museum," was to mark a the director's move into more specialized fare. But Levy has a busy schedule at big Fox, producing the upcoming Peter Cattaneo comedy "The Rocker" and directing the "Museum" sequel for the studio, among other projects.

The character-driven "Back," based on a script by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, centers on a teenage boy from a broken home who strikes up an improbable friendship one summer with the operator of a water park.

Mandate has gone out to several directors, with the shingle at one point talking to Tom Bezucha ("The Family Stone"). No director has officially been attached. (partialdiff)