Week in Review...
Jim Uhls (FIGHT CLUB) and Yalda Tehranian-Uhls announced the launching of Peculiar Films. They will team with Hyde Park Entertainment for their first production, HARD HEARTS. Uhls scripted the darkly comic crime actioner which concerns a bounty-hunting couple who must chase down their most dangerous prey while planning their wedding. The company is also developing THORNELY AND OSWALD by Stephen Barnes and FOOL THAT I AM by Uhls and Knarik Koop.
Jeremy Pikser (BULWORTH) is adapting the Tony Johnson chrildren's book THE IGUANA BROTHERS: A TALE OF TWO LIZARDS for Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios. John Leguizamo will produce and lend his vocal talents. It's about Dom and Tom, two laid-back iguana brothers living in Mexico. They embark on several adventures thanks to Tom, such as trying to go vegetarian by eating flowers instead of bugs, trying their hand at being dinosaurs and stargazing at their favorite constellation, the Big Iguana.
Michael France (THE HULK) will write TITANS for New Line and Horseshoe Bay Prods. about a group of teens who just happen to be the future gods of Mt. Olympus. The story begins when they are teenage mortals in Greece who've learned of their futures and must come to grips with their destiny.
Tim Daly and cinematographer Clark Mathis will co-direct the indie feature BEREFT, with Vinessa Shaw (EYES WIDE SHUT) in the lead role. Daly, Tim Blake Nelson, Michael C. Hall, Marsha Mason and Edward Herrmann will also star. Shooting is under way in Vermont. Based on a screenplay by Peter Ferland, it's about a young Vermont widow haunted by the memory of her husband, who died at a young age.
Danny Boyle is in negotiations to direct Warner Bros./Imagine Entertainment's WORCESTER COLD STORAGE, an adaptation of Sean Flynn's book 3000 DEGREES: THE TRUE STORY OF A DEADLY FIRE AND THE MEN WHO FOUGHT IT. Scott Silver (8 MILE) adapted the screenplay.
Channing Gibson (LETHAL WEAPON 4) will script the untitled cop-buddy project starring Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith for Paramount.
Darryl Quarles (BIG MOMMA'S HOUSE, BLACK KNIGHT) will pen a remake of 1969 Don Knotts comedy THE LOVE GOD? for Universal/Imagine.
Paul McGuigan (THE ACID HOUSE) is set to direct Jason Smilovic's script LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN for indie shingle FilmEngine. Company is eyeing a first quarter 2004 start to production on in New York City. The project is a neo-noir thriller that spans four decades and involves a Rabbi, a hit man, a horse and a case of mistaken identity and is set in the world of black and Jewish gangsters.
Gina Wendkos will write the live-action feature adaptation of the graphic novel JINGLE BELLE for Revolution Studios. The graphic novel, written by Paul Dini, centers on the precocious teenage daughter of Santa Claus, who has had enough of the North Pole and goes off on her own, inadvertently triggering a sequence of events that puts Christmas in jeopardy.
Victor Salva is set to write and direct New Line's World War II thriller THE WATCH, based on an original script by John Claflin and Daniel Zelman. It revolves around a team of inexperienced soldiers who are sent to blow up a critical Nazi bridge only to discover that they are being hunted by Abaddon, a spirit of the devil.
Thomas Vinterberg (THE CELEBRATION) will direct DEAR WENDY, starring Jamie Bell (BILLY ELLIOT), with production beginning Sept. 26 in Copenhagen. Lars Von Trier wrote the original script for the film, which will tell the story of Dick, an 18-year-old outsider, who -- although a pacifist -- is fascinated by guns. He and his gang of misfits, the Dandies, have all given named to their weapons -- Wendy is his own -- but they have also sworn never to draw. Still, rules are to be broken.
Author Jackie Collins will develop the romantic comedy FISH OUT OF WATER for Anonymous Content and Focus Features. Script is being written by Ardwight Chamberlain, based on a story by Collins. It's about a young woman from the Midwest who comes to Hollywood to marry a studio mogul and finds herself in rich-and-famous central but unexpectedly falls in love with the caterer.
Alex Turner is set to direct the indie thriller DEAD BIRDS, written by Simon Barrett, for Silver Nitrate. Story centers on aConfederate soldiers who rob a bank, then hide out in a deserted plantation house where an occult event has unleashed all sorts of terrifying mayhem. Henry Thomas, Nicki Aycox, Isaiah Washington, Patrick Fugit, Michael Shannon and Mark Boone star.
Raw Progressive Films has optioned three scripts: Angus Fraser's cop thriller THE PUGILIST, set in the 1970s, concerns a rebellious boxer-turned-policeman who discovers that a string of brutal NYPD cop killings are part of a larger conspiracy; Stephen Feder's CAT THIEF, a heist film in which a femme gumshoe becomes romantically involved with the globetrotting master thief she's supposed to capture; and Mark Mallouk's crime drama SOMERSET SQUARE.
Rob Bowman has sealed a deal to direct THE LAST BUFFALO HUNT for Intermedia Films and Mad Chance Prods. about a band of voyagers who encounter mercenaries, angry local tribes and government assassins as they track lost treasure from WWII in the South Pacific. Peter Buchman wrote the script.
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