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Week in Review...

  • Touchstone Pictures has purchased the script OFF THE CHAIN by writers Dax Shelby and Robert Stevens for Gunnfilms to produce. The comedy follows two prison-bound women from opposing walks of life -- a framed, clueless housewife and a career street criminal. Through a glitch in the system, the two accidentally swap prisons, with the housewife being sent to a maximum-security penitentiary and the criminal going to a country-club setting.

  • Gold Circle Films has paired with Wes Craven's Craven/Maddalena Films to produce THE WAITING, an indie horror pic penned by Juliet Snowden and Stiles White (BOOGEYMAN). The story follows a woman who believes she is being haunted by the ghost of her deceased child.

  • Eduardo Sanchez (THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT) will direct ALTERED for Rogue Pictures and Haxan Films. Pic, which follows a group of men living a night of terror after their lives were changed 15 years earlier by a strange occurrence, begins lensing next month in Florida. Adam Kaufman, Catherine Mangan, Brad William Henke, Mike Williams, Paul McCarthy Boyington and James Gammon will star. Jamie Nash penned the script from a story he created with Sanchez.

  • Sony Pictures Animation picked up an untitled pitch by writers Ron Mita and Jim McClain. Inspired by a true story, pic is about a group of animals trying to find their rightful place in the world.

  • Wych Kaosayananda (BALLISTIC: ECKS VS. SEVER) will direct ROUND FIVE for Mullis Capital and producer Barrie M. Osborne about a former Thai monk who leaves the temple and becomes a tuk-tuk (motor tricycle) driver in order to fund hospital fees for his ailing Thai mother. In the process, he falls in love with a foreign woman who was his passenger.

  • Peter Chelsom is in talks to direct THE FOOD OF LOVE, based on the novel by Tony Strong whose pen name is Anthony Capella, for Warner Bros. Pictures. and producer Denise Di Novi. Set in Rome, the romantic comedy involves an art-history student seduced by the supposed culinary skills of a waiter masquerading as a chef, who turns out to be a Cyrano de Bergerac type named Bruno. Valerie Breiman adapted the book.

  • Columbia Pictures is in final talks to buy the high-concept action pitch TWITCH, set in the world of gaming, from scribes Brendan Cowles and Shane Kuhn for Original Film to produce.

  • Sobini Films has acquired the script PREY, a psychological thriller from Jerrold E. Brown. It follows a man who sets out on a solo hunting expedition in the middle of winter and severely injures his leg. He is rescued by a mysterious trapper whose intentions are more sinister than he leads the hunter to believe.

  • Joshua Oppenheimer and Tom Donnelly (SAHARA) will write its upcoming comic book adaptation, DEAD OF NIGHT, for Platinum Studios. It's based on the Italian comic series DYLAN DOG and inspired by events in two DOG graphic novels.

  • Touchstone Pictures has picked up movie rights to CABIN PRESSURE, a nonfiction book proposal by Entertainment Weekly reporter Josh Wolk. The story centers on a 34-year-old writer on the brink of getting married who decides to return to his beloved summer camp where he was a camper and a counselor in a desperate attempt to hold onto his youth for one more summer.

  • Infinity Media has picked up David Bourla's script PUSH, a sci-fi thriller involves a group of young American expats with telekinetic and clairvoyant abilities who are hiding from a U.S. government agency in Beijing. They must use their different talents and band together for a final job enabling them to escape the agency forever.

  • Universal/Imagine will turn the life of an iconic hip-hop tattoo artist called Mister Cartoon into a feature film to be directed by Estevan Oriol, who directed a documentary of the same name on the artist's life. Drama will be based on the story of an East L.A. graffiti artist who got a job as an illustrator for Hustler magazine and a designer of low-rider cars. He eventually stretched his talents to tattooing and has etched his artwork into the skin of such hip-hop stars as Eminem, Red Man, 50 Cent, Dr. Dre, Method Man and Xzibit. He also has done cartoon cover art for many album covers.

  • Oliver Stone is in talks to direct THE NIGHT WATCHMAN, an adaptation of James Ellroy's script about a disgraced police officer who sets out to rid the police force of corruption. Keanu Reeves is attached to star and John Ridley is writing the screenplay.

  • Warner Bros. Pictures has acquired the comedy spec NO PAIN NO GAIN from writer Steve Pepoon. John Jacobs will produce the pic, in which a SWAT team's top cop -- who is incapable of feeling emotional or physical pain and is thereby revered for his fearlessness -- undergoes surgery that will allow him to feel everything he's missed in life.

  • Pedro Almodovar's next film will be VOLVER (RETURN), starring Penelope Cruz and Carmen Maura, for El Deseo. The generational comedy concerns three women who travel to Madrid seeking a better life.

  • Mike Clattenburg will direct THE TRAILER PARK BOYS, a feature version of the Canadian TV mockumentary hit. The film will feature the show's stars Mike Smith, Robb Wells and John Paul Tremblay.

    - Elston Gunn
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