EXCLUSIVE: New Line has set Ed Helms and is negotiating with Tracy Morgan to star in TAG. The studio has set Jeff Tomsic to direct a comedy based on an actual group of friends who for 30 years played a bizarre cross country version of the venerable kids game Tag. The script was written by Mark Steilen and Rob McKittrick, and Todd Garner and Sean Robins are producing with Steilen.

The idea for the film came from a Wall Street Journal feature in 2013 about the “Tag Brothers,” 10 classmates at Gonzaga Preparatory School in Spokane, WA. After attending school together 23 years earlier, the gang spread across the country in various fields but retained a bond with a version of the kid game. Only they weren’t limited to the schoolyard. Each February, they chased each other across the country, breaking into each other’s homes, hiding in the bushes until a target appeared, whatever necessary to get the job done. Some scheduled their vacations to avoid at all costs being “it,” and having to bear that loser title a whole year. There was a mad rush for their rights, until Broken Road’s Todd Garner was told he was it. He set it at New Line.

Helms, who next stars in Bastards for Warner Bros, is repped by UTA, Principato-Young and Schreck Rose Dapello & Adams. Nice to see Morgan moving back to screen roles after a near-fatal traffic accident that left him in a coma for two weeks. Morgan is repped by CAA and ML Management. Tomsic, who directed episodes of the series The Detour and Wrecked, is repped by UTA, 3 Arts and Schreck Rose.