MGM picks up 'How-To Guide'

Barry Sonnenfeld to direct the action-comedy

MGM has picked up BenDavid Grabinski's action comedy script "The How-To Guide for Saving the World," with "Men in Black" director Barry Sonnenfeld attached to direct and produce.

"World" tells the story of a loser who discovers a book on how to prevent an alien invasion and then has to put that knowledge to use when one actually occurs. Grabinski's script landed enough votes among executives to make this year's unofficial Black List of "most liked" screenplays.

"I loved the writing and the concept: What would happen if, one afternoon, the secret group that protects Earth from alien invaders was wiped out?" Sonnenfeld said. "Fortunately, they left behind an instruction manual for saving Earth. Unfortunately, a non-action-hero guy -- not unlike me in terms of manliness -- and a woman who hates him find the book and have to save the planet from an impending attack."

Cale Boyter and Luke Ryan are overseeing for MGM.

The project marks a return to MGM/UA for the WMA-repped Sonnenfeld, who directed "Get Shorty" for the company in 1995.

Grabinski, who is repped by WMA and Kaplan/Perrone, also has "Imaginary Barry," his first script, set up at Fox with Davis Entertainment producing.