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Ferrell, Partner Sign Deal to Make Comedies

Will Ferrell and writer-director-actor Adam McKay have signed a two-year, first-look producing deal with Paramount Vantage to make low-budget, high-concept comedies in the $10 million-$20 million range.

The pact is not intended to cover Ferrell-starring vehicles but instead presents an opportunity for the actor and his frequent collaborator to grow a brand via their newly formed Gary Sanchez Prods.

Vantage president John Lesher explained why the pair -- best known for frat-boy humor like "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" -- will augment the Vantage slate, which boasts a number of highbrow projects in development and production, including the Coen brothers' "No Country for Old Men" and Paul Thomas Anderson's "There Will Be Blood." "(Paramount Pictures chairman) Brad Grey and I have always envisioned that our specialty division would produce the most sophisticated and fresh material in all genres, and we are confident that Will and Adam's unique voices will be a Paramount Vantage mainstay," he said.

Lesher, a former agent at Endeavor, once represented McKay.

The "Saturday Night Live" alums will develop projects for Vantage on which they will serve as producers. They are developing a number of unannounced projects.

"Adam and I have been looking forward to setting up a company for a long time," Ferrell said. "And with Mr. Sanchez's support and vision, we look forward to a long and productive partnership. Viva Paraguay!"

Ferrell and McKay most recently teamed on Sony's "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby."

Ferrell is repped by CAA. McKay is repped by Endeavor. Both are managed by Mosaic Media Group.

Tatiana Siegel writes for The Hollywood Reporter.

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