EXCLUSIVE: Sony won a heated bidding battle late Friday and closed a deal for an untitled R-rated comedy spec script by Lucia Aniello & Paul W Downs. She is attached to direct a female-driven comedy described as The Hangover meets Weekend At Bernie’s, and he is set to co-star. They will produce through their Paulilu banner with Matt Tolmach and Dave Becky.
Aniello directed the pilot and multiple episodes of the Comedy Central series Broad City, in which Downs plays the role of Trey, and they are co-exec producers on the show. Sony is already in business with the duo, as they are working on a spinoff franchise of 21 Jump Street. Sony went hard after this one. The spec, titled Move That Body, is on a fast track and a good potential addition to Tom Rothman’s slate. The studio is on the hunt for franchises, and the hope is that this could grow into one.
I’ve heard that Fox, Universal, Paramount and MRC were all in on an auction brokered by UTA, 3 Arts and Ziffren’s PJ Shapiro, all of whom rep Aniello & Downs.