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Elston Gunn's WEEKLY SCRIPT REPORT (Major Sales, Events, and other News!)

- Artisan Entertainment and Tribeca Prods. are teaming to bring the Jeffrey Hatcher play COMPLEAT FEMALE STAGE BEAUTY to the big screen. Hatcher will pen the screenplay. It's based on the real-life story of 17th century actor Edward Kynaston who played female characters onstage. He then fights to reclaim his place in theater after King Charles II prohibits men from playing women.

- Cara Buono (WHEN THE CAT'S AWAY) will pen the screen adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's first novel THIS SIDE OF PARADISE for Miramax. Published in 1920, the story follows a Princeton student, Amory Blaine, who learns about life through World War I and love through a debutante named Rosalind Connate.

- Craig Fernandez (EL PHANTASMA) is in talks to write S.W.A.T. for Columbia Pictures based on the 70s TV series of the same name.

- J. Michael Straczynski will write RISING STARS for MGM based on his comic book about a group of more than 100 people who get superpowers after a blast of energy and the mysterious disappearances of many of them 25 years later.

- Patrick Massett and John Zinman will write the scripts for the feature projects DUST and FIRST KING. DUST is based on the 1998 Charles Pellegrino novel about a scientist and his daughter who try to escape Earth after it enters an extinction cycle. Jan De Bont will direct. Joel Silver is producing FIRST KING as a Jet Li vehicle about the first monarch of Chinabrought back to life in modern times.

- Brandon Camp and Mike Thompson (STEINBECK'S POINT OF VIEW) will write WHITE HORSES for Lions Gate Films about a crew coach who loses his university position and winds up coaching a group of delinquents. He ultimately gets his new rowing group to compete with his old school.

- Craig Mitchell and Richard Stern have written RAISED BY GHOSTS about an orphaned teen who was raised by ghosts and then moves in with a dysfunctional suburban family where he learns what being a human is all about. Ralph Zondag (DINOSAUR co-director) will direct while Brandon Camp and Mike Thompson work on a rewrite.

- Rick Tucker, Peter Liapis and Frank Harris have written PIRATES for 247 Pictures about a diving boat captain who encounters contemporary pirates in the South Pacific. Vic Armstrong will direct.

- Phil Alden Robinson will direct and rework the script to THE NINTH MAN which Blake Masters adapted from the 1976 John Lee novel about eight Nazis who travel to the U.S. in 1942 to cause trouble on the East Coast while a ninth Nazi attempts to assassinate President Roosevelt.

- Revolution Studios picked up AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS written by Billy Crystal and Peter Tolan in turnaround from Castle Rock Ent. It's been put on the fast-track as a possible starring vehicle for Julia Roberts. A veteran publicist is promoting a film starring a Hollywood couple who has just recently gone through a messy split. There is no footage of the film to show reporters because the director has it hostage, so the publicist tries to distract them with a reunion of the two actors.

- Shawn and Marlon Wayans will write SCARY MOVIE II for Dimension Films and director Keenen Ivory Wayans. The plan is for the film to be in production this fall with a May 2001 release.

- Columbia Pictures picked up Buddy Johnson's script WHITEY about a black man accused of a crime he didn't commit, so he heads down south and poses as a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

- Bruce Joel Rubin (GHOST, DEEP IMPACT) is writing the sequel to STUART LITTLE. Plot details are being kept a secret, but it is said to feature new characters to be CGI created. Rob Minkoff is expected to return as the director.

- Ron Senkowski (WICKED WAYS) is writing a script for Adam Sandler's Happy Madison Prods. and Fresh Produce Co. about a group of young men who compete for the honor of winning the heart of the president's daughter who is going to their school.

- Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett have written a thriller, picked up by Columbia Pictures, but the plot is being kept under wraps. However, it is being called a "sophisticated adult thriller" involving a heist taking place in New York during a snowstorm.

There is a tie for my pick of the week this week. THE NINTH MAN and RISING STARS are two scripts based on previously published material. I haven't read the basis for either project, but both premises sound very intriguing to me. I'm looking forward to finding out more about them.

-- Elston Gunn

(Sources: The Hollywood Reporter, Variety)

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