EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures is making a deal to finance and distribute The Intern, which Nancy Meyers will direct from her script, with Tina Fey attached to star. Scott Rudin will produce. This follows Deadline’s revelation that Meyers also plans to direct The Chelsea, a dramedy that has Like Crazy‘s Felicity Jones attached to star in a script by Meyers’ daughter, Hallie Meyers-Shyer. It remains to be seen which film goes first, but The Intern will likely get started in the first quarter of 2013, after Fey completes work on another season of 30 Rock.
Fey will play the founder of an e-business with a fashion focus. As her company begins to thrive, she’s told that her company is importing seniors to be interns as a community outreach effort, and she’s getting one. While her first question is whether they are seniors in high school or college, she learns to her horror that she’s getting a real senior, as in senior citizen. The title character, an over-70 widower who is bored with retirement from a middle management career, initially seems like a fossil to his working mother boss, but grows more indispensable. While the boss and internship develop a platonic bond, Meyers tells me that to her this is a love story about the friendship they develop. She has an actor in mind for the title role, but wouldn’t say until he’s locked.
Meyers generally writes about mature women and issues she can relate to in films like Something’s Gotta Give, The Holiday and It’s Complicated. Here, she was interested in a generational relationship, with a woman thriving in the male-dominated e-commerce field. She researched female-driven web business start ups and found it a compelling place to set a workplace comedy. It’s certainly timely, given recent adversity suffered by the likes of brick and mortar chains Best Buy and Barnes & Noble, which are being overrun by web rivals operating at a fraction of the cost.
“It seemed more interesting than having to see yet another thing set at an ad agency,” she said. “Tina’s character is much younger than me, but I was attracted to the pressures the character feels with her business, her husband and kids, and seeing all this from the point of view of a man who has been through it.”
Meyers said she could squeeze in The Chelsea while waiting for Fey’s schedule to open next year, but only if the cast comes together quickly. More likely it will follow The Intern. After all, Meyers’ other daughter, Annie Meyers-Shire, is getting married this summer, and for the writer of the Father of the Bride films, that will be as important and lavish a production as anything she’s got going professionally. Meyers is repped by WME, Fey by WME and 3 Arts.