'Stepfather' joins family at Vantage


Paramount Vantage has purchased the Brian Burns pitch "Stepfather" for Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy to produce via their Gary Sanchez Prods.

The broad comedy takes a look at the perfect stepfather's impact on the family dynamic.

McKay said Gary Sanchez, the company's Paraguayan namesake, got so excited about the project that he flew the team to South America.

"When Will, Chris and I first told Gary Sanchez about this, a tear came to his eye, for Gary was raised by a stepfather," McKay said. "But when we told him about the comedic take Brian had on the subject, he let out a laugh that echoed throughout the valleys of Paraguay. 'Buy it,' he said. Then we drank and shot skeet. That's how most of our meetings end -- shooting clay pigeons."

Despite McKay's assertions to the contrary, the company's namesake is believed to be a fictional character dreamed up by Ferrell and McKay, who have publicly described him as an ex-NFL kicker from Paraguay.

"This is sure to be a great film," Paramount Vantage president John Lesher said. "It's really relatable, and I can't believe no one's made a comedy about the perfect stepfather when the real father comes home. What's cool about it is it relates to Brian's own life. He recently married a woman who has kids. It's based in a world he knows. We want to make comedies, but we also want to make really good films."

Vantage head of production and acquisitions Amy Israel and vp production Chad Hamilton will oversee for the studio.

Burns is a writer and supervising producer on "Entourage," the popular HBO show that Henchy was a writer for before he joined Gary Sanchez Prods. Burns also created and exec produced NBC's "The Fighting Fitzgeralds."

Burns is repped by UTA and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen.