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Exclusive: Steve Carell and Tina Fey Re-Teaming for Mail Order Groom?

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | December 16, 2009 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | December 16, 2009 |

Here’s an interesting new project that just officially went into development, but could potentially come together quickly. Warner Brothers, in association with Steve Carell’s Carousel Pictures, is putting together a romantic comedy called Mail Order Groom, with both Carell and Tina Fey attached as the leads.

What’s strange here is that the same duo — who also happen to share the same NBC sitcom television block — just wrapped filming on another romantic comedy, Date Night, which is set for release early next year. The success of that pic, I imagine, may dictate whether or not this film goes ahead.

Mail Order Groom is about a lonely American woman (Fey) who orders an Eastern European soldier as a mail order husband. The film is expected to be in the vein of Borat and in the tone of 30 Rock. It’d be easy to envision the movie, and both principals in those particular roles (though, Carell’s Eastern European accent may lose its novelty halfway through the movie).

What’s even more strange is that Warners has the project tentatively lined up to begin filming in April, presumably after both Fey and Carell break from filming their respective sitcoms. Carell is currently filming Dinner for Schmucks, during his winter hiatus, but — despite having a number of projects in development, including Get Smart 2 — doesn’t actually have a go project for the summer; everything else is still in the script stage of development. The same goes for Fey, who doesn’t actually have many projects lined up at all. Mail Order Groom, meanwhile, appears to have a finished script and is ready to go, once Warners pins down a director. But, as with most romantic comedies, directors are more or less studio hired guns (see Shawn Levy, Robert Luketic, Steven Brill, etc. etc.), so it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to find a director between now and April and put this into production during the first half of the summer break, which allows Carell to do another of his projects, like Get Smart 2, during the latter half.

I’m still not entirely sold on Carell and Fey as a romantic duo — the first Date Night trailer didn’t exactly inspire confidence, but I suppose that it could be that they’re aiming to establish themselves as the next Tom Hanks / Meg Ryan for screwball comedies. Or maybe they really just liked working together, and want to do so again. In either respect, I wouldn’t anticipate much more than a mediocre studio comedy, which is what both seem to have resorted to over on the big screen in recent years.

Source: The Hollywood Cog

Update: The L.A. Times has subsequently developed this story further, noting that Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (Bad Santa were behind the script, and that the studio is aiming for Richard Linklater, Jay Roach, or Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris to direct. )

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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