the negative buzz crests on Fred Claus like Richard Chamberlain at the end of The Last Wave (labored!), Universal has stepped in and procured the services of Vince Vaughn for the next couple of years with a first-look deal that will grant the comedy titan safe haven to develop a trio of pictures in which he might star. I’ll take this as retroactive validation of the idiotically underrated The Break-Up if only because I want the immensely talented Peyton Reed to benefit from this.

Unfortunately, Reed doesn’t seem to be attached to any of the three movies being lined up as potential vehicles for Vaughn. Jon Favreau, however, is scripting a project about "couples that attend a retreat to reinvigorate their marriages". That’s the whole premise, folks! There’s another feature called Realtors that centers on "cutthroat" salesmen battling for primacy in the residential housing market. If Vaughn has it in him to go the Tin Men route, this could be a very nasty movie. He’s got the right instincts; he just needs to be willing to fail. And on a good movie, not Fred Fucking Claus.

Vaughn’s one of the most overpoweringly charismatic actors working today; so long as he stays healthy and chooses projects wisely, he’s in for the long haul. FYI, the other project mentioned as part of the deal is Male Doula, which is written by Dana Fox. I’ll be nice and say nothing. Vaughn also recently bought back the rights to his Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show doc, which The Weinstein Company somehow couldn’t market (astonishing!). He’ll soon be seen in Sean Penn’s Into the Wild, which is starting to accrue some very un-Fred Claus-like positive buzz. I can’t wait to see it.