Friday, March 5, 2010

Weekly Rundown

On the eve of Oscar weekend, the stupendously amazing Jessica Hall is back with another Weekly Rundown. Looking over the week's big writing news, I must admit I'm rather disappointed. A lot of uninspiring assignments and projects. Oliver Stone pot movie. Give me a break. Another "How To" titled rom-com. Barf. I read Central Intelligence. Why not just rename it, "Chuck: The Movie?" I guess Gilligan's Island was coming sooner or later. At least some writers will be able to pay their mortgages because of it. But by far, the most unexciting news of the week, is Dustin Lance Black writing a biopic on Hoover. Is there any idea you could come up with that sounds more boring than that?

A couple of quick reminders. I'll be Oscar blogging live on Sunday if you want to stop by and yell at me in the comments section. Also, I'll soon be throwing up the official post asking for your top 10 favorite scripts so we can update the Reader Faves list. Read as many scripts as you can so you can offer an informed opinion!

Nearly two years after it was acquired by Universal, Sascha Rothchild will adapt her own article, How to Get Divorced by 30. Studio was looking for another writer to pen the rom-com based on Rothchild’s L.A. Weekly cover story, but returned to Rothchild who also penned a book based on the article. Marc Platt will produce the pic with Dana Fox. Rothchild will exec produce.

Warner Bros. preemptively picked up a pitch from writing team Cooper & Collage (GET SMART) centered on the adventures of Marco Polo. Francis Lawrence (I AM LEGEND) will direct the project, which is said to be more of an action/adventure than straight biopic. Cooper & Collage are also writing TOWER HEIST for Brett Ratner (RUSH HOUR TRILOGY) to direct as well as MOBY DICK for Universal and MOSES for Fox.

Oliver Stone (WALL STREET 2) will direct and produce SAVAGES. Stone and Don Winslow will collaborate on the script based on Winslow’s novel. Story revolves around two Laguna Beach pals who share a thriving business growing and distributing the best-quality pot. When they resist a Mexican drug cartel, the girl that they share is kidnapped and they agree to pay, but plan to get her back, get revenge, and then get lost.

Broken Lizard Industries sold two projects to Universal. Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, Erik Stolhanske will write and star in ROGUE SCHOLARS, a college comedy revolving around five unruly professors, as well the second untitled project.

Shawn Harwell (“Eastbound & Down”) will rewrite THE CHADSTER for Danny McBride to Star. The Warner Bros. project previously had Todd Phillips (THE HANGOVER) attached to direct from a script by Mike Samonek (THE WHOLE PEMBERTON THING).

Jason Winer (“Modern Family”) replaces Mike Newell (PRINCE OF PERSIA) as director of ARTHUR starring Russell Brand. Peter Baynham wrote the 2009 Black List script, which is set up at Warner Bros.

The controversial life of J. Edgar Hoover will be chronicled in HOOVER, which Academy Award winner Dustin Lance Black (MILK) is writing for Universal and Imagine Ent.

In a three studio bidding war, Fox 2000 picked up the rights to the young adult novel “Incarceration” by Catherine Fisher. Story centers on a young boy who lives in a prison that is a complete society; outside the prison, the world is stuck in the 17th century and run by computers. The boy comes into contact with the warden’s daughter, who lives in her own sort of jail, and they find a key that can change everything.

Dean Parisot (FUN WITH DICK AND JANE) will direct Barinholtz & Stassen’s 2009 spec CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE, which sold to Universal in August with Ed Helms attached to star. Story revolves around an accountant who’s thrown into the world of international espionage after reconnecting with an old friend through Facebook. This would be Parisot’s first project since 2005.

In another bidding war, DreamWorks picked up Justin Adler’s spec script, THE ESCORT. The road-trip comedy involves an irresponsible flight attendant who is forced to escort a 14-year-old passenger to Boston after their plane is grounded.

Seth Grahame-Smith will adapt his own novel, "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter." Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov will re-team to produce the history-horror hybrid, which portrays the 16th president as an ax-throwing, highly trained vampire assassin. Burton and Bekmambetov collaborated on the animated feature “9.” Grahame-Smith’s previous novel, “Pride, Prejudice and Zombies,” is set up at Lionsgate.

GILLIGAN’S ISLAND is coming to the big screen with Brad Copeland (WILD HOGS) set to write the script for Warner Bros. The project, which has been in and out of development since 1994, is a contemporary take on the well-known sitcom.