EXCLUSIVE: After a heated bidding battle that drew bids from six studios, Universal Pictures has prevailed to acquire an untitled holiday comedy pitch based on an original idea by Olivia Wilde and Katie Silberman, the team behind the critically lauded Booksmart.
Wilde is attached to direct, and Silberman, who co-wrote Booksmart, will write the script. The two of them will produce.
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It is refreshing to see this level of studio enthusiasm generated after an inspiring directorial debut by the multi-hyphenate Wilde emerged from SXSW to become one of the most critically acclaimed films of the young year. Booksmart has been included on most of the “best of the year so far” film lists. Backed by Annapurna and Gloria Sanchez and released by United Artists, it has grossed over $22 million so far.
Universal’s SVP of Production Sara Scott and Director of Development Lexi Barta will oversee development.
Wilde is currently starring in the Clint Eastwood-directed The Battle Of Richard Jewell. Silberman’s past projects include Set It Up, Isn’t It Romantic and the upcoming Most Dangerous Game.
Wilde is represented by CAA, Untitled Entertainment and Ziffren Brittenham LLP; Silberman is represented by MXN Entertainment and Myman Greenspan.