While Universal killed two high-profile, risky, ambitious efforts recently, putting the kibosh on Guillermo del Toro‘s “At the Mountains of Madness” and Ron Howard‘s “The Dark Tower,” the studio isn’t afraid to spend money. It’s just that those holding the purse strings are choosing wisely and if you’ve been paying attention to the box office this summer, there is one genre that is not only making mad bank, but is also, generally speaking, pretty cost-effective: the R-rated comedy. “The Hangover Part II,” “Horrible Bosses” and most importantly, from Universal’s perspective, “Bridesmaids,” have been smash successes. So it’s no surprise then that they’re still willing to throw even more money behind the R-rated laffer.
In what is a pretty surprising and unlikely pairing, Seth Rogen and Zac Efron will team for a currently untitled film in the vein of “Old School.” Based on a pitch by Andrew Cohen and Brendan O’Brien, Judd Apatow proteges whose work caused a bidding war, the film will find Rogen playing the straight man, just a regular dude who lives near a frat house that Efron belongs to, and whose outlandish behavior affects Rogen’s family life. Certainly, it’s a chance for Efron to shake up his squeaky clean, wholesome image, something he has been dying to do based on the array of more adult-driven films he’s been attaching himself to over the last year or so including Lee Daniels‘ “The Paperboy” and the remake of “Snabba Cash” among a handful of others.
What were we saying about Universal dropping mad dollars? Rogen will apparently add $8 million into his bank account just for starring in the film and taking home another seven figures for producing alongside longtime collaborator Evan Goldberg. Damn. No director has been set yet nor a start date been determined. But it looks like everyone’s fave “High School Musical” star is ready to seriously fucking party. [Deadline]