Universal has 'Best' idea

Stuber Prods. to produce big-screen version

NEW YORK -- Universal is in final negotiations to buy screenwriter Richard Rapoza's raucous matrimonial comedy "Best Man-A-Thon,"with Stuber Prods.' Scott Stuber and Pam Abdy set to produce a big-screen version.

"Man-A-Thon" finds its lead character in a dilemma: His childhood best friend and college best friend hate each other, and after each makes him their best man, both expect the same job at his wedding. The pair reject his offer to share the role and decide to compete for the spot in wedding-related contests.

"My dad was a best man five times for guys who all considered him their best friend, and they all expected him to return the favor," said Rapoza, who developed the screenplay at a workshop in the UCLA MFA program that he's still attending.

The script is at a PG-13 level, though that may change.

Rapoza was signed to CAA after winning $4,000 at the Samuel Goldwyn Writing Awards for "The Hole in the Brain of Phineas Gage" this month. When the agency asked if he had any other scripts, he handed them "Man-A-Thon," which was quickly shopped around.

Universal executive vp production and development Tracy Falco and director of development Franklin Leonard are overseeing the project for the studio.
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