Spec Script Deal: “The House”

February 25th, 2015 by

New Line acquires comedy spec script “The House” written by Brendan O’Brien and Andrew J. Cohen with Will Ferrell attached to star. From Deadline:

Ferrell plays a guy, who, with his wife, blows their daughter’s college fund. Desperate for cash, they team with some neighbors to open an illegal casino in the suburbs.

Per Deadline, interesting approach to the deal “which began with the writers pitching the concept to studios and leaving behind a script.”

Writers are repped by CAA and Deb Klein.

By my count, this is the 13th spec script deal in 2015.

There were 10 spec script deals year-to-date in 2014.

Spec Script Deal: “Smoke”

February 25th, 2015 by

Relativity Media acquires action crime spec script “Smoke” written by Max Vaney and Luke Goltz. From Deadline:

It’s set in the Miami Vice 1980s era in South Beach. Spec tells the true story of Joey Ippolito, who was one of the world’s top speedboat racers. No one in the South Beach socialite crowd knew, however, that he was also running one of the biggest cocaine smuggling operations out of the U.S.

Vaney and Goltz are first-timers. They are repped by Paradigm and Circle Of Confusion.

By my count, this is the 12th spec script deal of 2015.

There were 10 spec script deals year-to-date in 2014.

Spec Script Deal: “Hunt, Capture, Kill”

February 20th, 2015 by

Millennium Films acquires action spec script “Hunt, Capture, Kill” written by Gregory Allen Howard. From Deadline:

It’s a full out action film about the first female president, who is shot down in Air Force One in the jungles of South America. One military man in charge of her rescue is her only hope for survival.

Brings to mind a Business of Screenwriting post: Spec Scripts Aren’t Just for Aspiring Screenwriters. One of the points I made why pro screenwriters would choose to write a spec script:

If a writer is pigeonholed in one genre, they may write a spec script in another genre with the hopes of breaking the town’s perception of the type of material they can write.

Gregory Allen Howard is best known for Remember the Titans and other projects of that ilk. As the Deadline article says, Howard is using this script in an effort at “rebranding himself in the action/thriller genre”.

And I say, good for him!

Howard is repped by WME and the Gotham Group.

By my count, this is the 11th spec script deal in 2015.

There were 10 spec script deals year-to-date in 2014.

Note: This makes 4 spec script deals in 5 days.

Spec Script Deal: “The Burning Woman”

February 20th, 2015 by

Scott Free Productions acquires drama thriller spec script “The Burning Woman” written by Brad Ingelsby. From Deadline:

In a small, blue-collar town in Pennsylvania, a 32-year-old woman’s teen daughter goes missing and she is left to raise her infant grandson alone. The story is told over the course of 11 years, from the time her daughter vanishes, through the the trials-and-tribulations of subsequent years looking for closure, leading up the long-awaited discovery of the truth.

Congratulations, Brad! His movie Run All Night, starring Liam Neeson and Ed Harris, premieres on March 13, 2015.

Brad is repped by CAA and Energy Entertainment.

For my March 2013 interview with Brad, go here.

By my count, this is the 10th spec script deal in 2015.

There were 9 spec script deals year-to-date in 2014.

Spec Script Deal: “Bounty”

February 19th, 2015 by

Paramount acquires action thriller spec script “Bounty” written by Sascha Penn. From Deadline:

The story centers on a convicted murderer who busts out of prison to clear his name, however the widow of one of his victims goes on national television and offers a $10 million reward to anyone who delivers the felon. Dead or alive.

Oftentimes the best story ideas are the simplest ones. This one is a lean, clean action machine.

Bidding war. Will Smitth attached to star.

Penn is repped by CAA and Madhouse Entertainment.

By my count, this is the 9th spec script deal in 2015.

There were 9 spec script deals year-to-date in 2014.

Spec Script Deal: “White Boy Rick”

February 17th, 2015 by

Studio 8 acquires drama bio spec script “White Boy Rick” written by Logan Miller and Noah Miller. From Deadline:

At the age of 14, [Richard] Wershe became an undercover informant for local and federal law enforcement agencies in the mid-80s, and grew in that role enough to establish himself as a major drug dealer. He went from being an asset to an eyesore for law enforcement in the drug trafficking wars, and he was brought down in 1988–found with 17 pounds of coke at age 17–and sentenced to life without parole.

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This becomes the second major studio project on Wershe, as Universal Pictures, director Joseph Kosinski and Scott Stuber’s Bluegrass are developing a drama on the same subject.

Hollywood’s interest in real-life stories continues. Also another in Hollywood’s succession of competing projects with the same story material.

Deal also includes a blind script commitment.

The Millers are repped by Thruline Entertainment.

By my count, this is the 8th spec script deal in 2015.

There were 9 spec script deals year-to-date in 2014.

Spec Script Deal: “Queen of the Air”

February 15th, 2015 by

Warner Bros. acquires drama bio spec script “Queen of the Air” written by Cat Lasko. From THR:

The story of Lillian Leitzel, a trapeze artist who in the early 20th century was one of the biggest stars in the world as she performed for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and her tragic love affair with Alfredo Codona, who may have been one of the best trapeze artists to ever flip under the big top. The two were tempestuous artists, divas and madly in love.

Lasko wrote the script on spec, based on a book published in 2013. Lasko’s script “Situation Comedy” landed on the 2014 Black List. She is repped by WME and Grandview.

By my count this is the 7th spec script deal of 2015.

There were 9 spec script deals year-to-date in 2014.

Spec Script Deal: “Darkest Hour”

February 6th, 2015 by

Working Title has acquired historical drama spec script “Darkest Hour” written by Anthony McCarten. From Deadline:

Days into his new job as Prime Minister as Britain was getting pounded and on the verge of losing to Germany, Churchill was under pressure to make a deal with Hitler that would have established Britain as a puppet state of the Third Reich. His army stranded in Dunkirk, Churchill instead summoned the courage to fight on. The film is about his decisions, and the actions and immortal speeches in those critical days that defined his place in history and changed the destiny of the world.

Another example of a ‘snapshot biopic,’ using a narrow period of time in an historical character’s experience as a lens through which to tell their life story (see Lincoln, Selma).

McCarten is repped by ICM Partners.

By my count, this is the 6th spec script deal in 2015.

There were 7 spec script deals year-to-date in 2014.

Spec Script Deal: “Bismarck” (2014 Black List)

February 5th, 2015 by

Universal Pictures options 2014 Black List script “Bismarck” written by Jared Cowie. From Deadline:

During the darkest hours of WWII, a British naval officer, raw from the loss of his ship, is thrust into the thick of the hunt for the most formidable Nazi battleship to ever set sail: the Bismarck.

It is an option deal. This is the first deal for Cowie who is repped by Benderspink.

By my count, this is the 5th spec script deal in 2015.

There were 7 spec script deals year-to-date in 2014.

Spec Script Deal: “Desert Eagle”

February 3rd, 2015 by

Universal Pictures acquires action spec script “Desert Eagle” written by Mike Le and Tyrese Gibson. From Deadline:

In Desert Eagle, a pair of border patrol agents investigate a drug cartel being operated out of a Native American reservation casino.

Le is repped by APA and Jonathan Hung.

This is an option deal.

By my count, there have been 4 spec script deals in 2015.

There were 7 spec script deals year-to-date in 2014.