Overture pops for 'Popped'

Escape Artists will produce comedy

Overture Films is putting "Freshly Popped" into the microwave.

The Megan Parsons-written spec project, a teen comedy from the producers of "The Pursuit of Happyness," was picked up for development by Overture.

In an unusual turn, newcomer Parsons was on a cruise to Antarctica when the spec was sent out and only heard of the sale upon reaching the continent.

"Popped" centers on a less-than-cool high school senior with a part-time job at a movie theater who's torn between losing her virginity to a geek who really likes her, a cool guy who probably won't talk to her afterward and an attractive jock.

The project is said to have echoes of "Juno," according to those familiar with the pitch, centering on a teenage dilemma and containing comedic as well as heartfelt elements.

Escape Artists — which was behind "Happyness" and also is producing the Tony Scott remake of "The Taking of Pelham 123" and the Will Smith starrer "Seven Pounds" — will produce. Steve Tisch, Jason Blumenthal, and Todd Black of the shingle will produce; Chris Coggins and Lance Johnson will co-produce.

Overture is set to release Tom McCarthy's immigrant drama "The Visitor" and is in production on a number of projects, including romantic dramedy "Last Chance Harvey" and action titles including the Robert De Niro starrer "Righteous Kill" and Jeffrey Nachmanoff's "Traitor." "Popped" would be its first in the teen comedy arena.

Parsons is repped by Paradigm and Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment.

Steven Zeitchik reported from New York; Borys Kit reported from Los Angeles.