Uber is causing some congestion in Hollywood as a pair of major studios have paid big money to lock down competing comedies inspired by the click-and-ride app.
The Universal-bought Uber comedy has already attached Will Ferrell to produce and star in a script penned by Neighbors co-screenwriter Brendan O’Brien. Fox’s Uber project, titled Stuber, hasn’t cast any stars yet, but it arrives boasting a finished script. The latter comedy follows the adventures of a driver named Stu over the course of one night of picking up passengers, including a police officer that recruits Stu to help him work a dangerous case.
The Uber-related comedy pitches were sold to Fox and Universal over a 24-hour period on April 14th, with neither studio knowing the other had purchased a script inspired by the app, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Universal dropped seven figures for the Ferrell project. Talent agency UTA repped both projects and reportedly didn’t inform either studio that it was simultaneously pitching other Uber-y scripts.
Uber isn’t the only subject to lure studios into making overlapping films: Both Disney and Warner Bros. recruited big talent for a pair of competing live-action adaptations of The Jungle Book, with Disney’s take arriving first and dominating the box office this past weekend; the Andy Serkis-directed version for Warner Bros. arrives in 2018. The Warner Bros. film, originally titled Jungle Book: Origins to distinguish itself from the other project, has reportedly opted to change the title back to simply The Jungle Book – the same name as Disney’s blockbuster.