Steve Carell's Surprise Script Doctor: Jason Reitman (Exclusive)

Jason Reitman

The "Up in the Air" filmmaker will rewrite Carell’s magician comedy "Burt Wonderstone."

As even as he begins to cast his latest movie, Jason Reitman is entering a world previously unexplored by the Oscar-nominated filmmaker: the land of the studio script doctor.

Reitman (Up in the Air, Juno) has been tapped for rewrite work on Burt Wonderstone, the New Line comedy that has Steve Carell attached to star. It is unclear whether the job will be a polish, a full rewrite, or something in between, but Reitman is being paid for several weeks' worth of work. This is the first time the writer-director has worked on a studio film he won't direct, but sources say he sparked to the idea of putting his stamp on an A-list comedy project such as this.

The project is set in the world of rival Las Vegas magicians. Carell is a more traditional magic man who is dethroned by a younger, hipper illusionist and must then find a way to rediscover his love for magic.

Chad Kultgen wrote the original script, while scribes John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein have been associated with the project for the past several years.

Reitman comes to Wonderstone as the comedy heats up at New Line, which is actively looking for an actor to play the rival magician and is planning on a fall production start.

Carrell's Carousel banner is producing with Benderspink. Tyler Mitchell is also producing.

Reitman, repped by WME, has made a name for himself making films with fresh and unique voices, be it Thank You for Smoking or Up In the Air, which earned 6 Oscar nominations He is putting the finishing touches on Young Adult, written by Juno scribe Diablo Cody and starring Charlize Theron, for a planned fall release from Paramount. He also is starting to cast his next writer-directorial effort, an adaptation of Joyce Maynard's novel Labor Day. Kate Winslett and Josh Brolin are in talks to star.