Pic enlists two 'Distance' runners

Charlie Day, Christina Applegate join romantic comedy

Charlie Day, one of the stars and creators of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," and Christina Applegate have joined Drew Barrymore and Justin Long in New Line's romantic comedy "Going the Distance."

Adam Shankman and Jennifer Gibgot are producing via their Offspring Entertainment banner, and Nanette Burstein is directing.

The story by first-time scribe Geoff LaTulippe follows a couple (Barrymore and Long) trying to maintain a long-distance relationship. Day is playing Long's best friend while Applegate is Barrymore's sister.

Day, who writes and executive produces as well as acts in "Philadelphia" with Glenn Howerton and Rob McElhenney, is one of the few from the show to jump into movies, though that appears due to time constraints more than lack of opportunity, given the demands of the writing, shooting and editing their show.

The trio plans to begin writing the show as early as November, shoot in the spring and summer, and edit in the summer. (They will wrap shooting Season 5 at the end of July with the new season debuting in September.)

"It's a year-round gig so it's made it tough to do movies," said Day, who will wrap shooting the fifth season later this month. "I couldn't just up and take (the role). I had to sit down with the guys and work out a schedule and say, 'If you're comfortable, I'm going to be doing a bit of flying back and forth.'... It has to be very interesting for us to bow out of our responsibility and pass the buck."

Day is also excited to be reunited with Long, with whom he acted on stage at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts at the turn of the century.

Day, repped by WME and 3 Arts, is developing a pilot for Fox titled "Boldly Going Nowhere" with Howerton and McElhenney. The trio are also mulling over a stage version of "Philadelphia" episode "The Nightman Cometh" that would play in New York and Philadelphia this fall. The guys premiered a version of it at the Troubadour in Los Angeles.

Applegate is coming off her ABC sitcom "Samantha Who?" Featurewise, she last appeared in "The Rocker" and next lends her voice to "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel." She is repped by CAA and Management 360.

New Line execs Dave Neustadter and Michael Disco are overseeing.