EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures and Brownstone Productions partners Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman haven’t gotten the holidays out of their system yet. The studio has acquired an original untitled holiday pitch by Emmy-winning writer John Riggi that centers on the adventures of Mrs. Claus as she navigates life and marriage in the stressful month leading up to Christmas. Riggi will write and exec produce. It’s unclear if there’s hopes for Banks to play the title character, but she will produce with Handelman.
Riggi is a writer, director and producer who started his career as a stand-up comedian who banked appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and headlined his own comedy stand-up special on HBO. He moved to become a staff writer on The Dennis Miller Show. From there he worked on and eventually became head writer on the award winning The Larry Sanders Show starring Garry Shandling. He has written for such notable shows as Will And Grace, Family Guy and The Bernie Mac Show where his writing was acknowledged with the Humanitas Prize.
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Riggi is currently under a long-term overall deal at Warner Brothers Television where he is developing showrunning and directing projects. Most recently, he directed the pilot and was showrunner for Rebel Wilson’s Super Fun Night at ABC.
Brownstone’s slate includes Pitch Perfect 3, the follow-up to the 2015 box office hit Pitch Perfect 2, which had the highest-grossing opening for a movie musical of all time, and Red Queen, both at Universal. Additional upcoming films include Charlie’s Angels at Sony; two features set up at Lionsgate — adaptations of the books White Girl Problems and Heist Society; HBO’s untitled Battle Of The Sexes project; The Most Hated Woman In America; Dirty Rush and Forever 21. Brownstone’s digital series, Resident Advisors, produced in collaboration with Paramount Digital Entertainment, premiered on Hulu in the spring.
Banks and Handelman are repped by UTA, Untitled and Ziffren; Riggi by UTA, Anonymous Content and Ziffren.
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