March 05, 2009 11:34am EST
Ring the bell, it's Dinnertime!
Jay Roach's long-gestating remake of Francis Veber's Le Diner de Cons is nearing the starting gate, reports Variety.
Spyglass Entertainment will partner with Paramount to greenlight Dinner for Schmucks, starring Steve Carell and Paul Rudd, and finance the majority of its budget.
DreamWorks has committed to take a 33 percent stake in the film once it secures its own financing. When DreamWorks and Paramount parted ways, the former held onto the property, though Par retained the right to come in as a financial partner and distributor.
The original film was released in 1998 in France with the remake rights sold to DreamWorks that summer. Steve Kloves was originally set to adapt the script for US audiences with Veber - who spends most of his time in LA - directing. Rudd and Carell are clearing their schedules to begin shooting in October.
Ultimately, the pic went through several incarnations, with Sacha Baron Cohen attached at one point, until he withdrew his name from the project last year.
The original story had French actor Thierry Lhermitte playing a stuck-up dinner party host, who makes sport of the most pathetic invitee he can find (the late Jacques Villeret). It sold nearly 10 million tickets in France for Gaumont and ranked as the 12th highest-grossing French film ever and 34th overall.
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