Sony Pictures Entertainment picked up North American rights to Danny Leiner's comedy Balls Out: The Gary Houseman Story (aka Gary The Tennis Coach) in an eight-figure deal that closed late on Sunday night [Feb 11].

Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group's (SPWAG) Scott Shooman brokered the agreement with UTA acting on behalf of the producers. It is understood Sony is planning a summer 2008 release.

Seann William Scott stars as a despondent former tennis pro who finds work as a school janitor and ends up coaching the tennis team. Randy Quaid also stars and Andy Stock and Rick Stempson co-wrote the screenplay.

GreeneStreet Films financed and produced with ONC Entertainment and Identity Films.

Michael Nathanson, John Penotti and Scott served as producers, while Leiner, Graham Larson, Matthew Rowland, Fisher Stevens, Peter Morgan, and Tim Williams served as executive producers.

Icon International is selling remaining territories at EFM through its deal with GreeneStreet Films International.

'It's no coincidence that we were attracted to Sony after the way they handled Superbad last year,' Penotti said. 'I'm personally thrilled for Danny, who has been a friend of mine for years and I've always appreciated his unique worldview.'