Josh Gad in Talks to Star Opposite James Franco in THE GAME; Lands Lead in NBC Comedy Pilot 1600 PENN

     February 3, 2012

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Now this movie makes much more sense. While I was initially skeptical of a douche-infused adaptation of Neil Strauss’s pickup artist memoir The Game, it appears the project is being developed with a comedy bent. Book of Mormon star Josh Gad is in negotiations to star as the lead in the pic, a Rolling Stone journalist who struggles with picking up women. James Franco is onboard as Gad’s mentor in the art of tailchasing. Gad has gained notoriety thanks to his hilarious performance in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical The Book of Mormon, and in addition to The Game it appears he might be poised to land his own TV show. Hit the jump for more, including a synopsis of The Game.

the-game-josh-gad-imageIn addition to news concerning The Game, Deadline also reports that NBC has given a pilot order to the White House comedy series 1600 Penn. The show is leagues away from NBC’s The West Wing, as it centers on the out-of-control eldest son of a dysfunctional family returns home and becomes a major liability. The kicker? Gad’s family is The First Family. Gad will stars as the son in the pilot, and also the series if NBC likes what they see from the pilot. The show comes from Modern Family director Jason Winer and Jon Lovett, a former speechwriter to President Obama. Gad’s Book of Mormon co-star Andrew Rannells also landed a high-profile NBC pilot, Ryan Murphy’s half-hour comedy The New Normal.

the-game-book-coverHere’s the synopsis for The Game:

Are you just another AFC (“average frustrated chump”) trying to meet an HB (“hot babe”)? How would you like to “full-close” with a Penthouse Pet of the Year? The answers, my friend, are in Neil Strauss’s entertaining book The Game. Strauss was a self-described chick repellant–complete with large, bumpy nose, small, beady eyes, glasses, balding head, and, worst of all, painful shyness around women. He felt like “half a man.” That is, until a book editor asked him to investigate the community of pickup artists. Strauss’s life was transformed. He spent two years bedding some fine chiquitas and studying with some of the North America’s most suave gents–including the best of them all, the God of the pickup “community,” a man named Mystery.

Mystery is an aspiring Toronto magician who charges $2,250 for a weekend pickup workshop. He is not much to look at: a cross between a vampire and a computer geek. But by using high-powered marketing techniques he’s turned seduction into an effortless craft–even inventing his own vocabulary. His technique sounds like a car salesman’s tip sheet: his main rule is FMAC–find, meet, attract, close. He employs the “three-second rule”–always approach a woman within three seconds of first seeing her in order to avoid getting shy. Other tricks: Intrigue a beautiful woman by pretending to be unaffected by her charm; also, never hit on a woman right away. Start with a disarming, innocent remark, like “Do you think magic spells work?” or “Oh my god, did you see those two girls fighting outside?” And finally, the most important characteristic of the pickup artist–smile.

After two years, Strauss ends up becoming almost as successful as Mystery, but he comes to an important realization. His techniques were actually off-putting to the woman he ended up falling in love with. And they never prepared him for actually having a relationship. After a while, he ran out of one-liners and had to have a real conversation. Still, The Game is a great read that may help some AFCs come out of their shells. [Amazon]

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