Spec Script Sale: Untitled Joe Gazzam Project

July 12th, 2014 by

Relativity Media acquires untitled science fiction spec script written by Joe Gazzam. From Deadline:

The log line is being kept under wraps but project is described as a Man On Fire-type story of a father and son, with a science fiction element.

This is an option deal.

Gazzam is repped by Paradigm and Industry Entertainment.

By my count, this is the 32nd spec script sale of 2014

There were 62 spec script sales year-to-date in 2013.

Spec Script Sale: “The Controller”

June 23rd, 2014 by

The Solution acquires action spec script “The Controller” written by Dominic Morgan and Matt Harvey.

Logline: Set in the Swiss Alps, follows the story of a veteran U.S. air commando who teams up with a female U.N. officer to hunt down an escaped dictator and avenge the murder of his brother.

The writing duo is repped by APA and Energy Entertainment.

This is an option deal.

Deal Date: June 11, 2014

By my count, this is the 31st spec script sale in 2014

There were 58 spec script sales year-to-date in 2013.

Spec Script Sale: “Leviathan”

June 17th, 2014 by

Sony Pictures Entertainment acquires science fiction spec script “Leviathan” written by Cole Haddon.

Haddon is repped by WME and Anonymous Content.

By my count, this is the 30th spec script sale of 2014.

There were 53 spec script sales year-to-date in 2013.

Spec Script Sale: “Captain Nemo”

June 14th, 2014 by

Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment acquire action adventure spec script “Captain Nemo” written by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar. From THR:

Sources say president of production Michael De Luca made a pre-emptive move for the spec, which offers a new take on the iconic antihero who was first introduced to readers in 1870 in Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Nemo also appeared in the author’s The Mysterious Island and Journey Through the Impossible. Nemo is a scientific genius who roams the depths of the sea in his submarine, The Nautilus, which was built on a deserted island.

Gough and Millar are repped by CAA.

By my count, this is the 29th spec script sale of 2014.

There were 52 spec script sales year-to-date in 2013.

Spec Script Sale: “Safe Core”

June 7th, 2014 by

26 Films acquires action thriller spec script “Safe Core” written by Elliott San.

Logline: N/A

Date Sold: May 22, 2014

San is repped by WME and Energy Entertainment.

This is an option deal.

By my count, this is the 28th spec script sale in 2014

There were 49 spec script sales year-to-date in 2013.

Spec Script Sale: “Understand”

June 6th, 2014 by

Twentieth Century Fox acquires science fiction spec script “Understand” written by Eric Heisserer, based on a short story by Ted Chiang. From Deadline:

Deal comes after the record breaking Cannes deal Paramount made to acquire North American and China rights to Story of Your Life, also a project that 21 Laps developed with Heisserer based on a Chiang story. Amy Adams will star in that movie next yer with Denis Villeneuve directing. Understand is about a man who is awakened from a coma by an experimental drug that has unforeseen consequences.

You can read Chaing’s “novelette” here.

You can read my April 2013 interview with Eric here.

This tweet from Eric accompanying news of the deal:

Even given my rusty math skills, that comes out to 3 screenplays per year. That is what we call productive!

Heisserer is repped by WME.

By my count, this is the 27th spec script sale in 2014.

There were 49 spec script sales year-to-date in 2013.

Spec Script Sale: Untitled Amy Welsh

June 5th, 2014 by

Focus Features acquires untitled Amy Walsh spec script. From Deadline:

Amy Welsh, who most recently was supervising producer on the ABC Family series Bunheads, and who has written on sitcoms from Roseanne to It’s Like You Know and Men Behaving Badly. They [Focus] are keeping the logline under wraps.

Welsh is repped by ICM Partners and Benderspink.

By my count, this is the 26th spec script sale of 2014.

There were 48 spec script sales year-to-date in 2013.

In the 6+ years I have been running this site, this is the single longest period of time in which there wasn’t a reported spec script sale: April 17-June 4, 2014. Literally the entire month of May: 0 sales. Hence the precipitous drop from last year to this.

What does this mean?

First, there may have been other spec deals in that time period which were not made known publicly or may be revealed later. This happens. Tracking spec script deals is an inexact science.

But let’s assume there is a considerable drop in spec script sales this year. It is not without precedent. Here is a list of spec script sales aggregated in The Definitive Spec Script Sales List (1991-2013):

1991: 28
1992: 40
1993: 89
1994: 101
1995: 173
1996: 155
1997: 141
1998: 110
1999: 83
2000: 92
2001: 101
2002: 114
2003: 90
2004: 75
2005: 58
2006: 60
2007: 64
2008: 87
2009: 67
2010: 55
2011: 110
2012: 99
2013: 100

After hitting a low point of 55 deals in 2010, the last three years (2011-2013) has been a strong period for sales, averaging 103 per year.

Perhaps buyers have full development slates right now. Maybe the type of material bubbling up through script development circles isn’t hitting buyers’ needs. Or maybe the stories just aren’t all that good. Could this lull in spec script sale activity somehow be tied to the current obsession with TV? Maybe the planet Jupiter is in retrograde.

It’s hard to make any definitive assessment short term. For writers, it means this: As always, we have to strive to write the very best stories we can. There will be competition. The buying market will go up and down. But a truly great script will always find its way.

Spec Script Sale: “I’m In Love With The DJ”

April 18th, 2014 by

Sony Pictures acquires comedy spec script “I’m In Love With The DJ” written by Lauryn Kahn. From Deadline:

The new deal is for an R-rated comedy is about a girl whose two best friends tag along on her work trip to Spain that quickly turns into a crazy hunt for a hot DJ through the electronic dance music scene. Kahn is the young writer who, after spending four years as McKay’s assistant and honing her writing skills scripting, performing and directing numerous shorts for the Funny Or Die, sold the script He’s Fuckin’ Perfect to Fox 2000 for $1 million against $1.5 million. That film, now titled The Social Life, moved to Universal with Jake Syzmanski directing Amanda Seyfried and Rebel Wilson, with Gary Sanchez producing.

Kahn (@YouDonKnowMe) is repped by WME.

By my count, this is the 25th spec script sale in 2014.

There were 29 spec script sales year-to-date in 2013.

Spec Script Sale: “Yellowstone Falls”

April 14th, 2014 by

QED acquires action drama spec script “Yellowstone Falls” written by Daniel Kunka. From Deadline:

This script is unusual in that it was 52 pages, with few human characters and essentially no dialogue. The action begins after an apocalyptic event that saps the humanity from most of the mutated humans that remain. At its core, it’s the story of a mother wolf, separated from her mate as the rest of the pack flees to safety, is forced to defend her cubs from the oncoming swarm. It sounds like those spare nature-based movies Jean Jacques Annaud makes, with a little genre thrown in. Telling a story like this with almost no dialogue is a real creative challenge, but movies like Gravity and Life Of Pi sounded shaky, too. This will certainly be different.

This story sounds awesome, yet another example of so-called screenwriting ‘rules’ trampled by a writer willing to take chances and let his creativity rule the decision-making process.

Bidding war resulted in a deal reported to be six figures against near seven-figures.

Kunka is repped by ICM and Madhouse Entertainment.

For my June 2013 interview with Daniel, go here.

By my count, this is the 24th spec script sale of 2014.

There were 28 spec script sales year-to-date in 2013.

UPDATE: From Daniel via Twitter:

Spec Script Sale: “The Garden at the End of the Earth”

April 9th, 2014 by

Warner Bros. acquires science fiction thriller spec script “The Garden at the End of the Earth” written by Gary Graham. From TheWrap:

Story follows a reclusive engineer who attempts to save our dying planet by growing trees in what is now a post-apocalyptic wasteland. He must also protect an abused girl from men who are hunting her.

This is a first-time sale for Graham.

Graham is repped by CAA and Energy Entertainment.

By my count, this is the 23rd spec script sale in 2014.

There were 25 spec script sales year-to-date in 2013.