PJ Hogan’s Mental to shoot mid-year

PJ Hogan's Mental is set to shoot mid-year in Australia.

The specific shoot dates are still to be set with star Toni Collette currently pregnant with her second child.

"It's just a matter of timing," Universal Pictures International Australasia managing director Mike Baard said.

Universal has the UK, Australian and New Zealand rights to the film – a comedy set within the world of Muriel's Wedding and loosely based on Hogan's own life.

Baard raved about the project at last year's Screen Producers Association of Australia conference, calling it "one of the most incredible scripts we’ve ever read".

"Out of probably the 300 scripts I’ve read in the last four years it is the best beyond any doubt and that includes a lot of the international productions that we do," he said at the SPAA conference.

"We got involved very early on with CAA, PJ’s agent, and came on board – we negotiated the deal by putting up a very hefty advance for Australia, New Zealand and the UK which is a primary catalyst in getting the film financed.”

Muriel's Wedding grossed more than $15.76 million in Australia in 1994. Hogan went on to direct films including My Best Friend's Wedding, starring Julia Roberts, and most recently Confessions of a Shopaholic, starring Isla Fisher.

Mental is expected to be released in 2012.