Friday, January 29, 2010

Weekly Rundown

Here's Jessica Hall once again with our Weekly Rundown! Some great info here. Oh, and the Efron project she's referring to (the time travel one), I believe is titled "Algorithm" and I'm desperately searching for it. So if you can get your paws on it, please send!

Still no action on specs this week and very little lit news until everyone returns from Sundance. A few announcements came out of the Festival, but acquisitions were still light.

Chris Sparling’s 2009 Blacklist script BURIED was the first narrative sale at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The film, directed by Rodrigo Cortes, was picked up by Lionsgate for just under $4 million. The ScriptShadow favorite is about a civilian contractor in Iraq who is kidnapped and awakens to find himself buried in a coffin in the desert. (

Writer/director Michael Winterbottom will take on “Promised Land” as his next feature. Project explores events leading to the 1948 partition of Palestine and the subsequent creation of the state of Israel. Winterbottom currently has THE KILLER INSIDE ME showing at Sundance. (

The Butcher Brothers aka Altieri & Flores have announced their next writing and directing project. BLACK SUNSET, about seven friends on a surfing trip to Mexico that turns deadly, will be financed by Queen Nefertari Productions, a film finance fund run by Gersh Agency. Writer/Directors also have THE VIOLENT KIND at Sundance. (

2006 Black List writers Calpin & Jakubowski (ASSASSINATION OF A HIGH SCHOOL PRESIDENT) have written an Untitled Time Travel script. Zac Efron is set to star in the Action/Adventure project for Warner Bros. and Mark Gordon Co. (

2008 Spec THE COMMUTER by Byron Willinger & Phillip De Blasiwas was set up at Gold Circle with Olatunde Osunsanmi (The Fourth Kind) to direct and possibly rewrite. In the action/thriller, a mysterious cell phone caller directs a former NYPD detective to find a federal witness aboard his commuter train, and kill him before the train reaches the end of the line. Willinger and De Blasi are currently rewriting "The Fourth Horseman" for Intrepid and writing "Paradise Lost" for Legendary. Osunsanmi is also set to write, and potentially direct an adaptation of the yet-to-be-released video game Zero-G. (

Martin Scorsese signed on to direct THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET from John Logan’s (SWEENEY TODD) script. Scorsese replaces Chris Wedge who dropped off the project about 12-year-old orphan Hugo, who lives in a train station and must finish what his late-father started by solving the mystery of a broken robot. (

From the 2008 Black List, PASSENGERS (script review here) by Jon Spaihts may be getting a new breath of life with the rumor that Gabriele Muccino (SEVEN POUNDS) is circling the project. Highly regarded script is about a man who accidentally awakens from hypersleep with ninety years left in an intergalactic journey and decides to wake up a beautiful fellow passenger to keep him company...even though doing so means she too will die before they reach their destination. (

With The Mulroneys hard at work on the script for SHERLOCK HOLMES 2, Warner Bros. and Silver Pictures announced that Guy Ritchie, director of the first installment, is set to direct the sequel. (

Writer/Director Boaz Yakin (REMEMBER THE TITANS) is in early pre-production on SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL, the story of two Baton Rouge Detectives who find themselves involved in a case that escalates into a cosmic confrontation between Heaven and Hell. Samuel L. Jackson is set to star. Film marks Yankins return to mainstream fair after directing the ill received film DEATH IN LOVE, which showed at last year’s Sundance Festival. (

David Berenbaum (ELF) will write a new project that George Lucas will produce. The untitled animated musical will be directed by Kevin Munroe (TMNT). (

Gotham Group optioned DARK LIFE, the first book in a series by Kat Falls. Producers are currently out to directors. Books are set in a near future world, where rising ocean levels and catastrophes have led some people to homestead on the ocean floor. Story focuses on an underwater boy, and a surface girl who join forces to uncover a government conspiracy. Book was featured on the 2009 Book List. (

Permut Presentations is developing a biopic about controversial civil rights activist Bayard Rustin. They have yet to announce a writer on the project. (

Doug McKeon will write and direct HARD WIRED from Kari Lee Townsend’s book. Pic is about a girl with a lousy sense of direction who becomes Techno-Girl when she touches a meteor while talking on the phone and gets all the capabilities her cell has (GPS, phone, text, camera). McKeon last directed COME AWAY HOME.

Warner Bros plans to remake fight/action film MORTAL KOMBAT, based on the popular 1992 video game. 2009 Black List writer Oren Uziel (SHIMMER LAKE) is in talks to write. (

Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald to adapt "Eat, Sleep, Poop: A Common Sense Guide to Your Baby's First Year" into a feature comedy for DreamWorks. Allen & Wilson (FOUR CHRISTMASES) are set to write. Scribner is publishing the witty guidebook by Beverly Hills-based pediatrician Scott W. Cohen on March 30th. (