EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has acquired worldwide distribution rights on The Intern, the north of $35 million budget comedy that Nancy Meyers wrote and will direct as her next film. This is the one that got shopped at last week’s AFM by Lotus. In this configuration, Worldview was out when the Warner Bros deal got done. Meyers will produce with Scott Rudin. In the film, Witherspoon will play the founder of a highly successful fashion website who is prompted to take part in her company’s Senior Intern Program. She is assigned a 70ish widower who shows up with a suit and a briefcase. Turns out he ran his own successful business before retiring. What starts initially as a clash between old-world and new-world business values grows into something more as the intern becomes a mentor to the young entrepreneur.
The prospect of Meyers making this movie at that budget level generated excitement among distributors, and The Weinstein Company and Universal also gave chase. Meyers has shown a generational zeitgeist touch with scripts that include What Women Want, Something’s Gotta Give and It’s Complicated. I’ve heard from some who’ve read it that this one really hits the mark and the modest budget is making it catnip to suitors. Meyers also writes great parts for actors, and this one seems strongly suited to Oscar winners De Niro and Witherspoon, both of whom Meyers hand-picked for the lead roles. CAA packaged the film, arranged the funding, and brokered the deal with Warner Bros. Production will begin early next year.