*Universal Pictures has acquired “A Meyers Thanksgiving,” a spec script that David E. Talbert wrote and will direct, with Will Packer producing, reports Deadline.com.
The holiday-themed comedy follows an estranged family facing their first Thanksgiving together since the death of the family matriarch.
The deal was mid-six figures upfront, but is 7-figures for script and directing if the movie gets made. Those signs look promising: it is being fast tracked to begin production in the fall, timed for holiday 2016 release.
Talbert previously wrote and directed “First Sunday” and “Baggage Claim.” “Thanksgiving” will be his first film with Packer, who two years ago signed his Will Packer Productions shingle to an overall deal at Universal. He has been a hit machine, including the “Ride Along” and “Think Like A Man” franchises.
Deadline.com’s Mike Fleming Jr. says “A Meyers Thanksgiving” is being fast-tracked because “Universal expected another installment of its ‘Best Man’ franchise, but the movie will take longer after helmer Malcolm D. Lee signed on to direct “Barbershop 3.” That created an opportunity and Talbert’s spec hit the spot.