EXCLUSIVE: We can reveal Friends star Lisa Kudrow as the first name for Disney+’s musical comedy Better Nate Than Ever, which is being produced by La La Land, Mary Poppins Returns and Cruella super-producer Marc Platt.

Ferdinand scribe Tim Federle, who recently show-ran Disney’s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, is adapting and directing the family feature based on his novel about 13 year-old Pittsburgher Nate Foster who sneaks off with his best friend Libby to a major musical audition in the Big Apple after not being cast in their school play.

A chance encounter with Nate’s long-lost aunt Heidi (Kudrow) turns his adventure upside-down, and it turns out they may need each other to make their dreams come true.

The movie is being overseen by Disney’s live-action team with filming now underway in New York.

Casting for Nate and Libby began earlier this year but is currently under wraps. The casting calls for those two roles called for child actors with pipes but our understanding is that Kudrow’s character won’t be singing in the movie. No Smelly Cats here.

Kudrow was recently seen in HBO Max’s Friends Reunion, Fox’s Housebroken and Season 2 of Netflix’s Feel Good. Upcoming she returns to the Boss Baby 2. She is repped by CAA, Viewpoint, attorney Mark Gochman of Gochman Law Group.

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