November 13, 2003

MGM has made a preemptive buy of “Henry Bates and the Sorcerer’s Balls” — a spoof of the “Harry Potter” and “Lord of the Rings” franchises. Studio is looking to conjure up a fantasy parody in the vein of “Scary Movie” horror-spoof franchise.

“Henry,” scripted by David Morgasen, James R. Stein and Timothy Stack, will be produced by Ricky Strauss under his Ricochet Films banner. The writers are best known for partnering with Howard Stern on the series “Son of the Beach” for FX.

“Our good wizard is Gandolfini, who goes against the evil wizard Enron,” Morgasen said. “The quest involves Henry Bates, the rightful king of the land of Middlefinger.This is the first feature for the trio; idea was suggested by Strauss. Stein said he and Stack were thinking about doing a parody but realized Strauss’ idea was better than theirs, which they said bore the working title “Gigli Reloaded.”

MGM bought the script days ago and has already engaged the writers for a two-week polish, indicating the studio plans to move quickly. MGM’s Toby Jaffe, Eric Baires and Devon Williams are steering the pic.

Morgasen and Stein are Endeavor-repped, Stack by Don Buchwald & Associates.