Molly Shannon, the former Saturday Night Live star, is in final negotiations to topline the comedy Year of the Dog for Paramount's new specialty division.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the story centers on Peggy, a happy-go-lucky secretary who lives alone with her beloved dog Pencil. But when Pencil unexpectedly dies, Peggy embarks on a journey of transformation.

The film marks the directorial debut of writer Mike White, whose credits include School of Rock, The Good Girl and Paramount's upcoming Jack Black starrer Nacho Libre.

White, who is Black's partner in Black and White Prods., wrote the screenplay for Dog with Shannon in mind. The two met on the short-lived Fox TV series Cracking Up, which Shannon starred in and White created.