Week in Review...
Anthony Minghella has committed to write and direct a feature for Miramax based on British author Liz Jensen's forthcoming novel THE NINTH LIFE OF LOUIS DRAX. The novel is a surreal psychological thriller about an accident-prone 9-year-old problem child lying in a deep coma and the doctor who cares for him. Project is being assembled under Miramax's production deal with Minghella and Sydney Pollack's Mirage Enterprises.
DreamWorks picked up THE ISLAND from writer Caspian Treadwell-Owen with Michael Bay attached to direct. The sci-fi thriller is being described as a cross between THE FUGITIVE and THE MATRIX. Plot details are being kept under wraps.
Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow (CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN) will write New Line Cinema's adaptation of DC Comics' SHAZAM! It's the story of mild-mannered Billy Batson, a boy who becomes Captain Marvel, the world's mightiest mortal, when he says the magic word "Shazam!" The name is an acronym for six gods and heroes of the ancient world as well as their attributes. William Goldman was previously working on the script.
New Line Cinema has purchased Scott Sturgeon and Marius Balchunas' romantic comedy script TAMING BEN TAYLOR with Kevin Costner attached to star. It centers on a powerful and beautiful businesswoman who tries to convince a stubborn and difficult man to sell his land to a country club.
Dimension Films has signed writer Anya Kochoff (MONSTER-IN-LAW) to a two-picture deal. The first of the two comedy pitches is MANHATTAN BABY, about a career-driven single woman who sacrifices everything to become New York's most sought-after director of baby play groups. The second, GIRLS GONE WILD, is about a thirtysomething woman who, after a terrible breakup with her boyfriend, decides to spend her annual vacation with her two best friends somewhere unexpected.
James Ellroy will write THE MAN WHO KEPT SECRETS, a biopic of Hollywood lawyer Sidney Korshak for producers Robert Evans and Brian Grazer. William Friedkin is on board to direct. Pic is set up at Paramount Pictures. Upon his arrival from Chicago in the 1940s until his death in the 1990s, Korshak was a Hollywood powerbroker. He was a confidant of several studio heads and negotiated corporate mergers, political deals and labor settlements behind the scenes. He was also notorious for his ability to serve as a liaison between corporate titans and underworld chieftains.
Regency Enterprises picked up COUNTRY GIRL, written by James Raymond, for Wendy Finerman to produce. It's about a pampered teenage country music star who decides to trade in her mansion for a trailer park to get inspiration for an album. The experiment introduces her to the world of teen rivalries, friendship and romance.
Producer Clifford Werber grabbed the script SLAMMIN' from writers Aaron Metchik and Joseph Garner for female Brazilian extreme sports inline skater Fabiola da Silva to star. Pic tells the tale of a young Brazilian girl whose struggle to rise within the male-dominated world of competitive skating brings her to Venice, Calif., where she finds both love and professional success.
Odd Lot Entertainment has picked up Irving Belateche's screenplay THE RECKONING to produce and finance, with A Band Apart on board to produce. Set in New Orleans, the script is a supernatural thriller about a woman who suffers visions from her childhood that foretell her daughter's doom.
Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (AMERICAN SPLENDOR) are in talks to rewrite and direct a remake of BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN for Universal Pictures and producer Brian Grazer. Their concept for the project is set in contemporary Gotham, centered on a young woman attending college. After being haunted by someone else's memories, she gradually discovers that she died and was then unnaturally brought back to life.
Todd Alcott (ANTZ) will adapt THE GIVER, based on the 1977 children's book about an 11-year-old boy whose life is changed forever when he befriends the class outsider, a girl. Together they create the world of Terabithia, an imaginary kingdom filled with giants, trolls and other magical beings. The company has also acquired rights to Katherine Paterson's BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA as well as Australian author Wendy Orr's NIM'S ISLAND.
Danny Boyle is attached to direct the sci-fi thriller SUNSHINE, written by Alex Garland (28 DAYS LATER), for DNA Films and Fox Searchlight. The project is said to be reminiscent of Henri-Georges Clouzot's 1953 pic THE WAGES OF FEAR, which followed men hired to transport an urgently needed shipment of high explosives without the equipment that would make it safe to do so.
J. Mills Goodloe and Sal Paskowitz will write VOLPONI for Disney based on the life story of famed horse trainer P.G. Johnson. Gordon Gray and Mark Ciardi (MIRACLE) will produce through their Mayhem Pictures. The project will follow the Hall of Fame trainer, who overcame obstacles to win the 2002 Breeders Cup.
Dimension Films will remake THE HILLS HAVE EYES with Alexandre Aja directing and Wes Craven producing. Aja will co-write the script with Gregory Levasseur. Original film centered on a hapless family that makes a detour to a desolated desert to visit a silver mine they've inherited. There they are preyed upon by a disturbing clan.
Columbia Pictures picked up John Pogue's script DELILAH for John Baldecchi to produce. The script takes its name from a Class Five hurricane that creates more than the usual mayhem as prisoners riot when they are being ferried to safety. A small-town deputy finds himself confronting the worst in human nature and mother nature by going up against hostage-holding hardened cons.
Emily Fox will script MGM's DAUGHTER OF THE BRIDE, which Goldie Hawn will topline and produce through her Cosmic Entertainment shingle. The comedy is an adaptation of the Washington Post article "Bride and Joy: Guiding Mom Down the Aisle," written by Francesca Segre.
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