It’s not often that a script about a French nihilist touches off a bidding war in Hollywood, but that’s how hot Jason Reitman is in the wake of Juno ($135 million domestic and counting).  That Jim Carrey’s agreed to star as the Gallic agitator probably helped drive the price up, but he hasn’t had a runaway hit since Bruce Almighty.

And Pierre Pierre isn’t your standard-issue Carrey blockbuster.  The tale of a “self-indulgent” troublemaker who attempts to transport a purloined painting from Paris to London, this project sounds like a brainier-than-average comedy that probably won’t catch on as Juno did.  That’s probably why Fox Atomic, after paying $1 million for the spec (and muscling out Universal and Mandate), has set a smallish budget of $13 million; Reitman might be hot, and Carrey might be Carrey, but French nihilists are French nihilists.   (And you’ve a whole talkback below to quote The Big Lebowski.)

Reitman and Dan Dubiecki will produce the film along with Escape Artists’ Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch (great guys, by the way).  The screenplay is by the rookie duo of Edwin Cannistraci and Frederick Seton.  Helluva first sale, boys.  Congrats!

I don’t know when Pierre Pierre will begin production.  Carrey’s finishing up A Christmas Carol for Robert Zemeckis, and could then move on to Glenn Ficarra and John Requa’s I Love You Phillip Morris, though momentum seems to have slowed on that one.