Parkes/MacDonald buys action-comedy pitch


Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald continue their shopping run.

The producing pair has bought an untitled action-comedy pitch from writers Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly out of the development fund they launched with Imagenation Abu Dhabi in October.

The original idea sprang from research Trevorrow had done into the practice of police departments recruiting improv actors to help with low-level stings. With a "Tropic Thunder" feel, Trevorrow and Connolly's storyline involves three actors who are brought in to help bust a DVD-bootlegging operation. When it turns out to be a front for much more nefarious activities, the comedy trio ends up on the run from crooks and cops alike with only their ad-lib skills as weapons.

Parkes and MacDonald have scooped up a number of properties this year with money from the IAD fund, including the Richard Matheson novel "Earthbound," the forthcoming child-rearing guide "Eat, Sleep, Poop: A Common Sense Guide to Your Baby's First Year" and the Web site the Museum of SuperNatural History.

Anson Avellar is shepherding the new project for the company.

Repped by ICM and 3 Arts Entertainment, Trevorrow and Connolly have "Cocked and Loaded" in development with Temple Hill Entertainment, and they worked on the script for "Blood Brothers" at Spyglass.

Independently, Trevorrow has "Stealing Time" in development at Sony, "Pet Robots" in development at Disney and "Tester" set up with Parkes/MacDonald Prods. at Paramount (the spec originally was at DreamWorks, which had to leave it behind after the two companies split).

Parkes/MacDonald, which has a first-look deal at DreamWorks, is working with the studio on "Motorcade" and the July comedy "Dinner for Schmucks."

Imagenation Abu Dhabi's upcoming features include Peter Weir's "The Way Back," Doug Liman's "Fair Game" and Jodie Foster's "The Beaver."