EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures Entertainment has made a preemptive deal for Valet Guys, a feature pitch from a potential vehicle for Adam Sandler and Kevin James to play veteran valet parking guys at a South Beach hotel who witness a murder and find themselves running for their lives. The pitch went for mid-six against seven-figures. Bakay and James will write it together.
Bakay’s collaborations with James goes back to being producer of King of Queens, and more recently co-writing Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Zookeeper, which will be released by SPE next summer. The comedy will be a co-production between James’ Hey Eddie, Todd Garner’s Broken Road and Happy Madison, the three companies producing Zookeeper.
At the same time, Bakay’s Verve reps have also closed a pilot script deal at Fox Broadcasting Corp, with Sony TV and Happy Madison producing. Though Bakay is writing big comedies and has done everything from writing to acting and even voicing the cat on Sabrina the Teenage Witch, he seems to have an inferiority complex when it comes to his father. That’s the basis for the show.
“I have always struggled living in my father’s shadow,” Bakay wrote in his pitch. “I’m first generation. My grandfather was essentially the father of neurosurgery in Hungary. My father was a brilliant neurosurgeon and researcher who escaped communism on a motorcycle with nothing but the diamond from his mother’s wedding ring sewn into his underpants, and went on to become a Nobel candidate. And, as you may or may not know, I am best known…for being a talking cat.”
Of his father, Bakay wrote, “He was literally like the guy in the Dox XX’s commercials, the most interesting man in the world. That line, ‘Sharks should have had a week dedicated to him,’ always makes me laugh because my dad literally experimented on shark brains in Bimini. And now, fatherhood has introduced me to a whole new canvas of inadequacy when I compare myself to my own father—my dad was a God—my kid is fucked. And I find myself constantly wondering what it would be like if my dad was still here. And that’s what this show is about. A charismatic, larger than life Hungarian father moves in with his adult son’s family, challenging their status quo, and forcing his son to compare his own views of fatherhood with the way he was brought up.”