the industry

Matthew McConaughey to Animate His Brother

Fun With Ethnic Stereotypes: Fox has teamed up with Matthew McConaughey to develop an animated comedy about his brother’s life. Rooster Tales will focus on a good ol’ boy sheriff who marries a much younger Mexican woman and doesn’t know that with his wife comes her 114-member family. Variety doesn’t say, but it sounds like Carlos Mencia might be one of the writers. [Variety]

The O.C. with Iranians: ABC has given a pilot order to Funny in Farsi, a single-camera comedy about Iranian Americans. Directed and produced by Barry Sonnenfeld, the show will be based on Firoozeh Dumas’s memoir, which details her experiences growing up in Newport Beach, California, in the seventies. We’re guessing this isn’t going to make Ahmadinejad laugh. [THR]

Music City Meltdown: Lucas Black and Cary Elwes have signed on to star with Sam Shepard in Tough Trade, the first pilot for new premium cable channel Epix. The show focuses on a family of Nashville musicians that makes a series of bad decisions leaving it on the verge of bankruptcy. Black will play a talented musician who decides to not go into the family business. Instead, he sells gun ammo around Nashville. Elwes, who won’t wear tights, plays his father and Shepard his grandfather. [THR]

Pretty Normal Activity
: Paramount has purchased the distribution rights to Area 51, Oren Peli’s follow-up to Paranormal Activity. Peli produced Activity for a mere $11,000 but spent a relative fortune, $5 million, on 51. The film, which finished shooting three weeks ago, reprises the found footage technique and tells the story of three teenagers who wander into Area 51. Prediction: Once there, they scream a lot. [Variety]

Back to School
: Origin Pictures, the studio founded by ex-BBC films head David Thompson, has signed Justin Chadwick to direct its first feature, The First Grader. Based on a true story, the film will tell the tale of an elderly Kenyan who goes to school for the first time after the government offers free education to everyone. The war vet is determined to take advantage of the opportunity, even though he has to start with the first grade. Producers say it’s “full of surprises and unexpected humor.” And tears. Lots of tears. [THR]

Matthew McConaughey to Animate His Brother