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‘Booksmart’ Reunion: Universal Nabs New Comedy From Olivia Wilde and Katie Silberman

In a good sign for woman-led projects, Universal won a heated bidding war between six other studios.

Booksmart

Katie Silberman and Olivia Wilde on the set of “Booksmart”

Francois Duhamel / Annapurna Pictures

Booksmart” director/writer duo Olivia Wilde and Katie Silberman will team up again for a comedy at Universal Pictures. The studio recently won rights to the project in a heated bidding war between six studios, according to Deadline. Universal nabbed the untitled holiday comedy based on an original pitch from Wilde and Silberman, with Wilde attached to direct and Silberman (co-writer on “Booksmart”) slated to write the screenplay. Both women will produce.

Released in late May, “Booksmart” earned rave reviews from critics and has earned over $22 million in box office returns thus far. The raunchy teen girl comedy stars Beanie Feldstein (“Lady Bird”) and Kaitlyn Dever (“Justified”) as strait-laced best friends who go to great lengths to finally let loose on their last night of high school.

In his rave review of the film out of this year’s SXSW Film Festival, IndieWire’s Eric Kohn wrote: “The best comedy of its kind since “Superbad,” Wilde’s slick, unpredictable romp can sometimes feel like several movies at once. This riotous, candy-colored celebration of sisterhood is so dense with anarchic developments it often threatens to collapse into itself, but avoids lingering on any gag long enough to let that happen.”

Best known as an actress, Wilde impressed critics with her directorial debut. Wilde got her start on TV, with memorable recurring role on “The OC” and a co-starring role on “House.” She will next appear in Clint Eastwood-directed “The Ballad of Richard Jewell,” set to release next year from Warner Bros.

Silberman co-wrote “Booksmart” with Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins and Susanna Fogel, though Silberman was the only one to receive a producer credit. Her recent projects include the hit Netflix romantic comedy “Set It Up,” the Rebel Wilson vehicle “Isn’t It Romantic,” and the upcoming “Most Dangerous Game” for Netflix, which will reunite her “Set It Up” duo of Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell.

As it’s early days, there’s no word on whether Feldstein or Dever will be involved in the duo’s next project. After her breakout role in “Lady Bird,” Feldstein was praised for easily taking center stage in “Booksmart,” which instantly marked her as one of the leading comedic actresses of her age group.

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