The Motion Picture Group, Inc., a production finance and services company, announced that it has optioned its second original screenplay April in December, a romance/fantasy comedy written by Michele Alexander & Tyla Berchtold. This enchanting screenplay is the first project using the combined talents of Alexander and Berchtold.
Michele Alexander, co-author of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days stated, "Paramount made a terrific movie from my book. According to estimates from the Hollywood Reporter on April 12, 2006, the movie grossed over $177 million worldwide. I think this new screenplay has the potential to be another blockbuster and Tyla and I can't wait to get going on it!"
April in December is being packaged with talent for an anticipated 2007 shoot and will be aimed at a mainstream audience. The story revolves around a high-powered professional who thinks she is losing her mind when she starts seeing fantasy characters. She soon discovers that the havoc wreaked on her career is the very thing she needed to find her heart again, regain professional success, and fall in love.
The Company's CEO Pliny Porter, who has extensive experience in developing the romantic comedy genre for Julia Roberts and Meg Ryan, among other major stars, stated: "The most exciting part of finding good comedic material like this is that it attracts top level stars to the project, provides a quicker road to production, and garners early support from the studio system - all vital elements to the success of the distribution process. We realize the importance that our Company target quality material to serve the broad family market with projects that not only entertain and become a commercial success, but ones that solidify the personal life values that are important to all of us."
Co-President Scott Franklin stated: "We recognized the value of this material immediately and brought our team together with the idea that we would move quickly through the final phases of development to get the picture made in a very short timeframe. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Michele and Tyla, writers who have already been part of incredibly successful films."
After her success with How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Michele penned a follow-up book that was optioned by Paramount as the basis for a sequel that is currently in development. Additionally, her co-written script Catfight, described as a 'laugher about the perils of competitive dating', is currently in active development through Paramount-based CFP Productions. Tyla Berchtold works in marketing and film distribution most recently on the releases of the hit cult films Memento and Donnie Darko.