The comedy haven Funny or Die is in business — specifically, the movie business. Having gone from our laptop screens to the big screen last year with Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie, the humor website founded by Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, and Chris Hency has inked a multi-year partnership with producer Scott Steindorff and his Scott Pictures to make its transition into Hollywood a more permanent venture. [THR]
With this deal in place, Funny or Die will be trying for two to three movies per year, a movie Steindorff likens to National Lampoon‘s transition from humor magazine to comedy film staple. The films would involve anything from cheap change budgets to $25 million-plus pictures and a similar shift in distribution models depending on the project involved.
“The hope is that in one of the two or three movies, we find the next Animal House or breakaway comedy,” Steindorff said about the plans to maintain the two-three film a year production schedule. Funny or Die says it is “distribution agnostic”, meaning that we could see a mix of widescreen and video-on-demand releases. Steindorff will serve primarily as the financier, with the humor handled directly by the writers at Funny or Die like Ferrell or McKay.
It’s interesting to see Steindorff as the producer involved in this deal, given his past involvement in non-comedic projects like Love in the Time of Cholera, The Lincoln Lawyer, and TV’s Las Vegas, but he may be making a smart move here. Ever since it debuted in 2007, Funny or Die has proven again and again that it is one of the best comedic ventures online, with one of the strongest teams of writers, directors, and actors in the comedy business. Having found success in television with HBO’s Funny or Die Presents, movie-making may not be such a far stretch of the imagination for the website. Given how far the National Lampoon brand has fallen over the years, it will be great to see what Funny or Die can bring to Hollywood at large. Check out a video below featuring one of their founders celebrating a recent breakthrough.