Uni pickup is fair play for jesters

Universal Pictures has picked up "Renaissance Men", a comedy Rainn Wilson is co-writing with fellow actor Matt Ross. Wilson, who snagged his first Emmy nomination for his work on NBC's "The Office", also will topline and produce the feature with Jay Roach.

The story follows two down-and-out community theater actors who think they've accidentally killed a co-star. In a panic, they go on the lam and hide out in a Renaissance fair.

Wilson has long been fascinated by "Ren fairs", attending them with his family during his teenage years, when he also played "Dungeons and Dragons" and fought with broomsticks and garbage-can lids in his backyard.

Wilson and Ross attended the same drama classes at the University of Washington, where Ross also took up fencing and swordfighting.

Both eventually made their way south to Hollywood, where after bit parts in movies like "Almost Famous" and TV shows Wilson found success as apparatchik Dwight Schrute on "Office". Ross has appeared in such movies as "American Psycho" and "The Aviator" and is now gaining attention for his work on HBO's "Big Love", where he plays the villainous Alby Grant.

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