Columbia Pictures is going back to school and has begun work on a sequel to Bad Teacher, the 2011 comedy hit starring Cameron Diaz that grossed $216 million worldwide.
The studio announced Thursday that although there is no deal with Diaz yet, Justin Malen is writing a script to be directed by Jake Kasden, who directed the first feature. Jimmy Miller, Kasdan, Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky will produce the film, and Melvin Mar will executive produce.
The original feature -- for which Diaz earned $42 million thanks to a lucrative back-end deal -- promises to become a new franchise for the studio. It’s also being turned into a half-hour series for CBS that will star Ari Graynor. A co-production of Sony Pictures Television and CBS Television Studios, it has received a a 13-episode midseason order.
“Bad Teacher was a hit not just in North America, but throughout the world. We’re excited that Jake will be returning to develop and helm the sequel. We love Justin’s take on the material -- it hits all the notes that made the first film such a breakthrough hit and also takes the characters in a new direction that is fresh and fun,” said Hannah Minghella, president of production for the studio, who announced the project along with Columbia Pictures president Doug Belgrad.
Columbia Pictures senior vp of production Jonathan Kadin will oversee development of the project along with Minghella.
Kasdan, repped by WME, currently is in pre-production on Sony Pictures’ Sex Tape, also starring Diaz, as well Jason Segel. He most recently directed and executive produced episodes of the series New Girl.
Malen’s feature film screenplay Bastards made the 2011 Black List as one of that year’s best unproduced screenplays. The writer, repped by Verve and H2F, also has completed a rewrite of the comedy project The Manny for Red Wagon and Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Eisenberg and Stupnitsky are repped by WME and Mosaic.