Universal Pictures has beat out Disney and Paramount Pictures for an untitled musical comedy that has Josh Gad attached to star and Jeremy Garelick set to direct. Deadline reports that the musical will also feature brand new songs from celebrated composers Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz. The project made the studio rounds last Thursday, the same day that Josh Gad's FX series The Comedians premiered, with every major studio making an offer on the project.
The deal for this untitled musical closed last night, and is said to be in the low seven figures, with "strong progress to production language" and talent fees that could bring the deal up to eight figures if Universal ends up making the project. The story centers on Josh Gad's character, who integrates himself into a family lead by a busy single mother, and becomes an important member of their "clan." Josh Gad and Jeremy Garelick conceived the story together, with Jeremy Garelick writing the script and directing.
Michael De Luca will produce alongside Josh Gad, Jeremy Garelick, Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz. Michael De Luca is also producing Chris Pratt's The Real McCoy, which we first reported on yesterday, a pitch which sold for $1.5 million against $3 million, although this musical deal is said to be much higher, and one of the richest pitch deals in a very long time. Josh Gad is currently in London, preparing to start production on Disney's live action Beauty and the Beast, where he plays Le Fou. Josh Gad and Jeremy Garelick recently worked together on The Wedding Ringer, which served as Jeremy Garelick's directorial debut.