In a bidding war, Universal Pictures snags thriller spec “Safe House” from first-timer David Guggenheim. Per the LA Times blog “24 Frames”:
Talk to anyone in Hollywood and they’ll tell you that the process of getting an original movie sold or made these days is about as easy as getting Sarah Palin to keep mum at a Tea Party convention.Which is why it’s eye-catching that David Guggenheim, an Us magazine editor with no previous screenwriting experience, has just stirred a bidding war with a spec script (that is, an original script and idea that was written unsolicited by a studio or producer and isn’t based — thank God — on any prior piece of material) that he wrote in pretty much three months flat.
The movie is called “Safe House,” and it’s a story of a young U.S. intelligence agent in charge of a safe house in a tumultuous part of South America. Soon after a prisoner is brought in, the house is attacked, and the agent and the prisoner must go on the run across the treacherous Latin landscape — think “Collateral” and ‘The Bourne Identity” with a Che Guevara twist.
Guggenheim may technically be a first-timer, but…
Guggenheim comes from Hollywood royalty — his brother Marc is writing “The Green Lantern’ and his brother Eric was a writer on the Olympic hockey film “Miracle.” But he’s a senior editor based in New York with few prior Hollywood connections (he recently signed with the agency APA and the management company Madhouse Entertainment). In fact, he just picked up the pen in the fall, motivated to finish a screenplay before his wife gave birth to their first child (she’s due next week — so he made his deadline).
Set a deadline – and met it. Mid-six-figure deal should translate into a nice crib for the baby.