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

* Writer/director George Gallo will direct UNCOUPLED for producer David Permut (both worked together on the upcoming DOUBLE TAKE) and Revolution Studios. The story follows two divorced men who come up with a plan to get out of the alimony they owe their wives, but they have the tables turned on

* Eagle Pictures has picked up film rights to Scott Steindorf's adaptation of the Tom Tryon novel NIGHT MAGIC about a street magician and the master sorcerer that pulls him into an overpowering dark world.

* Joe Jarvis and Greg Coolidge have written FIRST, LAST AND SECURITY which The Walt Disney Co. has purchased. The story follows a guy who has landed a group of jobs for which he has no qualifications. However, he ends up posing as the Los Angeles expert on caretaking, pool maintenance and housesitting.

* Producers Bennie R. Richburg Jr. and Jeffrey S. Dyson will write a film for Paramount/MTV Films based on standup material from Bernie Mac as a starring vehicle for the comedian.

* Artists Production Group has purchased the futuristic action pitch V-8 by Dario Scardapane about a messenger who has to deliver a mysterious package.

* Paul Adee (TAZ) will write THE LAZY PRIVATE EYE for Revolution Studios as a starring vehicle for Matthew Perry, who would play the world's laziest private eye hired to find a woman who ends up being his ex-girlfriend.

* John Singleton is in final talks with Columbia Pictures for the studio to produce his script BABY BOY about a young black man who begins to grow up after spending several years avoiding his responisiblities of being a father and bumming off his mother.

* Producer Mark Canton (GET CARTER) picked up Christian Darren's spec WIPEOUT, which is set in the world of surfing. Matthew McConaughey is in talks to star and produce in the pic where he would play a character loosely based on the 1960s icon Murf the Surf, who divided his time between jewel heists and surfing.

* Dave Parker and Mark Altman will script THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD based on the popular Sega video game. Mindfire Entertainment will produce the pic about genetic research leading to the formation of terrorizing zombies.

* Conundrum Entertainment picked up Ricky Blitt's pitch WHORE OUT OF WATER for The Farrelly Brothers and Bradley Thomas to produce. The comedy's plot is being kept secret. Blitt has also written the upcoming pic THE RINGER about two guys who try and fix the Special Olympics.

* Damon Santostefano (THREE TO TANGO) will develop, and possibly direct, AMERICAN GIRL for Warner Bros. Jenny Bicks scripted the original draft, Maria Maggenit handled the most recent version, about a 19-year old New York woman, who decides to find her father in London, where she finds the job of her life and the man of her dreams. It is inspired by Vincent Minnelli's 1958 film THE RELUCTANT DEBUTANTE.

* Wally Wolodarsky (COLDBLOODED) is in talks to direct DOG CATCHER for Disney about two frat boys who are kicked out of their fraternity house and end up dressing in drag and living in the Delta Omicron Gamma (DOG) house where the girls considered unattractive live. Joe Jarvis and Greg Coolidge scripted. Shooting begins in the spring.

* Universal Pictures picked up Lisa Schrager's action/comedy pitch GANGSTA BITCHES about two women who pull off a heist. Jersey Films will produce.

* Matt Williams will produce and direct an untitled action pic written by Blake Masters for Wind Dancer Films. It follows a bickering father and son who go on a weekend adventure together and must come together to save each other's lives.

* Walt Disney Co. bought Gregory Allen Howard's (REMEMBER THE TITANS) pitch THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY, based on the classic story of a drummer boy during the Civil War.

* Jason Heimberg, Justin Heimberg and Jeff Sank have sold their script LEISURE WORLD to 20th Century Fox. The comedy focuses on a man who relocates to Florida because he is tired of the rat race.

* Columbia Pictures purchased Brent Weindling's script PEARLS BEFORE SWAN about a college professor who inherits a strip club from his deceased uncle. He intends on liquidating the place as soon as possible, but falls for a stripper and learns about people with whom he wouldn't normally associate himself.

* George Wing's sold his romantic comedy script 50 FIRST KISSES to Columbia Pictures. It centers on a guy who falls in love with a woman who lost her short-term memory in an accident, so he keeps trying to get her to fall for him over and over again.

* Doug Jung sold his script CONFIDENCE to Fine Line Features about a master con man who swindles a guy, who turns out to be an accountant for a huge crime boss, out of a few thousand dollars. The con and his gang offer to pull off a con to repay their debt.

* Michael Chabon (WONDER BOYS) will write a script based on his new novel THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER & CLAY for producer Scott Rudin. The book is said to be Chabon's "most ambitious and celebrated work yet."

* Ron Bass will write and produce THE LAZARUS CHILD for Eagle Pictures based on the Robert Mawson book. A girl goes into a coma after she is hit by a bus. Her 12-year old brother volunteers to enter the girl's mind with the help of an eccentric scientist to bring his sister back to consciousness.

* Mike White has written ORANGE COUNTY, which Paramount will soon greenlight. It's about an high school senior trying to get into Stanford University, but hits a major roadblock when his guidance counselor mistakenly sent the school a slacker's transcripts instead of his. Jake Kasdan may direct.

* Chap Taylor will write a script for Paramount about a jewel thief whose wife is taken hostage on a train that wrecks on top of the Brooklyn Bridge.

* Original Voices picked up David Steinberg's script AFTER SCHOOL SPECIAL, a comedy about a group of high schoolers who set out to make a porno during their summer vacation.

* The Scott Phillips-penned script RAMP RATS was picked up by Grammnet Prods. It' s a dark comedy loosely based on the 1999 American Airlines smuggling scandal where several baggage handlers were arrested on federal drug charges.

* Single Cell picked up Brain Dannelly's and Michael Urban's script SAVED,
which is a dark comedy set in a Christian high school.

* Gary Tieche (SPEAKING OF SEX) will adapt Bill Fitzhugh's book CROSS DRESSING for Shady Acres Entertainment. The story centers on the twin brother of a dead priest, who takes the identity of his brother in order to run away from charges that he stole ideas from a co-worker at his ad agency.

* Wallace Terry will adapt his book BLOODS for Castle Rock Entertainment and Antoine Fuqua, who is attached to direct and produce. It focuses on African-Americans who fought in Vietnam.

* Universal and Imagine will turn the life story of former Harlem heroin kingpin Frank Lucas into a feature film. The story will also focus on detective turned prosecutor Richie Roberts, who worked with Lucas to expose crooked cops and the foreign nationals who made the smuggling of heroin by Lucas possible. Nick Pileggi pitched his story as DONNIE BRASCO meets SHAFT.

* Disney is fast tracking a feature update of their franchise HERBIE, THE LOVE BUG. A writer will soon be hired and the project is said to be a priority for Michael Eisner.

I like the premise to 50 FIRST KISSES. I wonder how it's going to be handled. I'm also curious about the script SAVED since Single Cell purchased it. WHORE OUT OF WATER is another I'd like to find out more about. My pick of the week goes to THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER & CLAY because I really enjoyed WONDER BOYS, which was based on Chabon's novel and I'm anxious to hear more about this, especially since it's already gathered much praise.
-- Elston Gunn

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