Universal Pictures International (UPI) and Berlin-based Film 1 will co-produce Detlev Buck’s Rubbeldiekatz (working title) with Boje Buck.

The project is based on a screenplay by Anika Decker (Rabbit Without Ears). Film 1’s Henning Ferber and  Marcus Welke are producing.

UPI head of production and acquisitions Christian Grass announced the deal today.

For UPI, the production is being overseen by Executive VP of International Production Clare Wise and Director of Physical Production Peter La Terriere. Alexander Jooss, Senior Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs, negotiated the deal.

Matthias Schweighöfer will star as an unsuccessful actor whose life takes a turn when he is mistakenly cast as a woman for a Hollywood film. He then falls in love with his famous co-star (Alexandra Maria Lara). The cast also features Buck, Max von Thun, Maximilian Brückner and Denis Moschitto.

The film starts shooting Jan 3 and will continue through the end of February, on location in Berlin, Hamburg and St. Peter Ording.Rubbeldiekatz has funding from Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, the Filmförderungsanstalt and DFFF.

Universal will release in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in winter 2011.

“Usually the work on a script can be quite exhausting but this time I hardly realised the effort, even though we’ve worked pretty hard,“ said Buck.“Is that because of Decker or the content, or is it both? I’m still about to find out. For now I am looking forward to directing a hot comedy on cold days.”