EXCLUSIVE: Two pros — director Barry Levinson and comedy giant Billy Crystal — have come aboard a new feature film comedy called Revival. Written by Phil Primason (5 Doctors), the premise is hi-lar-ious: A once-legendary Broadway composer who, after a bitter public divorce, gets stuck composing jingles to make ends meet finds out that a Staten Island high school is staging his most famous musical, and he becomes obsessed with shutting it down.
In the meantime, all the money he earns writing stupid jingles goes to keep his only friend — his comatose dog Julius — alive. Oh, yeah, and Crystal’s character, who is trying to kick his smoking habit by using electronic cigarettes, finds himself becoming addicted to the smokeless replacements.
We hear that the script is great, so much so that Crystal is now attached to star, Levinson to helm and both are coming on as producers. The project has not been set up, but with this package it probably will be snatched up in a hurry.
Surprisingly, Levinson and Crystal have not worked together before, though they were two of five executive producers on the comedies Analyze This and Analyze That in which Crystal starred with Robert De Niro.
Levinson’s highly anticipated The Wizard of Lies, which stars De Niro as Bernie Madoff and tells the story of the fraudster and his multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme, will bow May 20 on HBO.
Crystal, who was just in The Comedian and is a beloved comedic actor on the big screen, also won critical raves for his heart-touching, Tony Award-winning 700 Sundays. The autobiographical one-man show about Crystal and his dad also aired on HBO.
Primason is repped by Gersh and he’s managed by Aaron Kogan Management.