EXCLUSIVE: In a pre-emptive mid-six- against seven-figure deal, Universal has acquired an untitled action comedy pitch for Chris Morgan Productions, I’ve learned. Matt Allen and Chris Borrelli will pen the script based on their pitch — whose logline is being kept tightly under wraps. However, I’m told by a person close to the project that it has the potential of becoming an action comedy tentpole. Both writers have a long relationship with Fast & Furious franchise writer Morgan. He’ll produce via his Universal-based banner.
Borrelli and Allen’s stars have been steadily rising. Borrelli recently collaborated with Morgan on Lionsgate’s The Vatican Tapes with Borrelli writing the script and the two producing alongside Chris Cowles and Lakeshore Entertainment. It hits theaters February 27.
Borrelli’s script Wake is starting production in February with John Pogue directing for Benaroya Pictures with Exclusive Media, DMG, and Circle of Confusion producing. His Eloise is in post-production starring Eliza Dushku, Robert Patrick, and Chace Crawford, and he wrote Sad Jack which Bold Films is financing for producers Andrew Lazar and DMG. Last Friday, Amazon launched Borrelli’s novel, Islands Of Stone, the first of a trilogy.
Allen is best known for Four Christmases and Soul Surfer. This project will be is his first collaboration with Borrelli. Earlier this month, Allen and Caleb Wilson sold the spec White Christmas to MRC and producer Baron Davis. Morgan recently sold a martial arts buddy procedural to Fox with Robert Munic. He’s also at work with Alex Kurtzman on Universal’s efforts to relaunch its library of classic monster movies.
Chris Morgan Productions’ Ainsley Davies will oversee development of the new action comedy for the shingle. Universal’s Director of Development, Jay Polidoro, will oversee for the studio.
Borrelli is repped by attorney Jeff Frankel and DMG. Allen is repped by WME, attorney Eric Brooks, and DMG. Morgan and his Chris Morgan Productions are repped by ICM Partners.
This is the second recent big sale to Universal for DMG’s management division, following F. Scott Frazier’s spec Berliner.