Netflix Wins Bidding War for 'Eggplant Emoji' From Ben Stiller, 'Workaholics' Creators (Exclusive)

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Ben Stiller

The streamer was chomping at the bit to get its hands on the dark comedy.

Netflix has risen to the occasion to win a bidding war for The Eggplant Emoji, a spec by Kevin Burrows and Matt Mider, the creators of digital animated series Gentlemen Lobsters.

Ben Stiller and Nicky Weinstock will produce the dark comedy via their Red Hour Films banner. Blake Anderson, Adam Devine, Anders Holm and Kyle Newacheck, the creators and stars of the hit Comedy Central show Workaholics, are also on board to produce.

The plot is anything if not fully formed: When a teenager accidentally cuts off his penis during a camping trip, he and his friends rush to save the appendage before it's too late. The intent is to make a comedy in the vein of Superbad, something that focused on friendship but throbbed with insane situations and R-rated language.

Netflix beat out five other companies to land the project.

Anderson, Devine, Holm and Newacheck are already in business with Netflix with Game Over, Man! Holm wrote the script for Game Over based on a story that the foursome developed together. Newacheck will direct the film, and the group is producing it with Seth Rogen’s Point Grey Pictures and Scott Rudin Productions.

Red Hour, which had been tied to several studios such as New Line Cinema and 20th Century Fox, went the indie route a year ago and has set up several comedies and dramas at TV studios and networks. It also has a financing partnership with Bold Films.

Burrows, who started as a production assistant on DreamWorks Animation’s Puss in Boots, and Mider have been praised for bringing a unique millennial voice to Lobsters, which began life as a series on before migrating to Seeso, NBCUniversal’s streaming service. (Yes, it really is about lobsters — two in fact, who are trying to navigate the twentysomething scene while looking fashionably dressed.) This is their first film script sale.

The duo are repped by WME, Silver Lake Entertainment and Hansen Jacobson.