Bateman, Aniston eye "Horrible Bosses"

Tue May 11, 2010 11:31pm EDT
 
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By Borys Kit

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston and Colin Farrell are in negotiations to star in "Horrible Bosses," a workplace murder comedy in development for years at New Line.

The movie centers on three best friends who, frustrated by their jobs, conclude that the only solution is to kill each other's bosses. Bateman is a man who believes that his hard work will be rewarded but when he gets passed over for a promotion, he hits rock bottom.

Charlie Day ("It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia") would play a hapless guy, always in the wrong place at the wrong time. A part still to be cast is a ladies' man who is good at his job, but gets a rude awakening when his boss passes away and gets replaced.

Aniston and Farrell would play two of the bosses, a sexually aggressive dentist and a weasely-looking scion, respectively. Their ranks also include a master manipulator, Seth Gordon ("Four Christmases") will direct.

The project has attracted a plethora of actors over the years, including Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Ashton Kutcher, Dax Shepherd and Matthew McConaughey.

It got a new boost in light of last year's hit "The Hangover," which catapulted relative unknowns -- Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis -- to new heights. Its success showed it was possible to make a modestly budgeted comedy that could soar if the chemistry was right.

Bateman was last seen in "Couples Retreat" and has the romantic comedy "The Switch," with Aniston, awaiting release from Miramax. Day is co-starring in New Line's Drew Barrymore/Justin Long comedy "Going the Distance." It's his work from that movie -- insiders say he steals scenes from the stars -- which led to New Line considering him for "Bosses." Farrell was recently in theaters with "Crazy Heart."