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The Globe and Mail

Quebec comedy 'Starbuck' spawns DreamWorks remake

Patrick Huard in a scene from "Starbuck"

Courtesy eOne Films

The francophone smash Starbuck is getting a U.S. makeover by Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks Studios.

The Canadian comedy, about a middle-aged man whose life is turned upside down when he learns he fathered 533 children through sperm donation, is set to be filmed in New York this fall.

Quebec producer Andre Rouleau says the deal came together after Spielberg watched the film last month and was enthralled by the story.

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He says the remake will be written and directed by original writer-director Ken Scott, and that he'll stay on as a producer.

Rouleau says he's thrilled to be working with DreamWorks, noting it's highly unusual for a U.S. studio to allow a film's original creative team to also helm a remake.

DreamWorks says casting has begun but no details were revealed.

"We were completely charmed by the story in Starbuck and saw the potential for a commercial remake with universal appeal," Stacey Snider, co-chair and CEO of DreamWorks Studios, said in a release.

"We are excited to be working with the original filmmaking team of Ken Scott and Andre Rouleau and look forward to our collaboration on this film."

The original Starbuck was released in Canada last summer and collected several awards on the festival circuit, including audience prizes at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and the Sonoma International Film Festival.

That film was set in Montreal with Patrick Huard playing the inadvertent dad, David Wozniak.

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The original film was co-written by Martin Petit.

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