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Script Pipeline's First Look Project was an awesome experience.  From our first phone call, they became our personal champions, and proceeded to surprise us again and again with the extent of their support--this contest is about getting your work in front of the industry. We can't tell you how many times we got update calls after 8pm. These guys work hard, and their unprecedented advocacy of our writing led to meetings. It was this attention and praise that led to an option agreement. Submitting was one of the smartest things we did.

Ben and Tyler Soper, First Look Project Winners (The Devil in Evelyn)

Script Sales

July 2017 Script Sales

August 23, 2017

Screenwriters made a strong showing in July, with many projects finding homes over the course of the month. Voltage Pictures snagged Brian Edward Hill's untitled horror/thriller spec. The script has been described as a supernatural take on Se7en but with a female lead. Miramax picked up Jason Markarian and John Mirabella's spec The Armstrongs. The action/comedy follows a divorced couple in witness protection who have to team up when their son is kidnapped. Eli Roth is set to produce Casey La Scala's 1974, a thriller spec inspired by true events about a man convicted of murdering his parents and siblings. La Scala is set to direct as well. New Line Cinema purchased Super-Intelligence, an action/comedy spec written by Steve Mallory. Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone are also set to produce. Finally, Lionsgate acquired Shay Hatten's action spec Ballerina, which follows a female assassin out for revenge. The script might become a spinoff to the John Wick movies.

Other script sales:

- Universal Pictures and Mandeville Films acquired Kristina Lauren Anderson's pitch for Swan Lake. Felicity Jones is attached to star.

- Chris Columbus and his production company 1492 Pictures to produce Gregory Allen Howard's untitled biopic about the life of Fannie Lou Hamer.

- Barry Jenkins to write/direct an adaptation of James Baldwin's novel If Beale Street Could Talk for Annapurna Pictures.

- David Leslie Johnson to script the Invasion of the Body Snatchers adaptation/remake for Warner Bros.

- Vanessa Taylor has been tapped to write the live-action adaptation of Aladdin for Disney.

- Todd McFarlane will write/direct an adaptation of his comic book series Spawn for Blumhouse Productions.

The Library – Produced Scripts

Pixar may be getting all the gifs and Buzzfeed articles (deservingly so), but in the background, Laika has been quietly producing some of the greatest animated films ever made. Known for mastering the painstaking process of stop-motion animation, Laika got their start with Henry Selick's excellent adaptation of Coraline, and they haven't slowed down since. Although they only have four films to their name, their relatively small oeuvre could easily rank among Pixar's best. Laika continued their streak last year with the criminally under-watched Kubo and the Two Strings. Written by Marc Haimes and Chris Butler and directed by Travis Knight, Kubo follows a young boy named Kubo who plays a magical shamisen. He sets off on a journey with a talking monkey and a samurai who was turned in a beetle to avenge his mother's death. So the story may follow the archetypical "hero's journey" as described by Joseph Campbell, with the call to adventure and the various challenges along the way that pit good against evil, but what makes the script so great (and what earns the movie its 97% on Rotten Tomatoes) are its themes. As has become expected in modern children's movies, Kubo doesn't shy away from a mature depiction of its themes: family, death, empathy, and memory. Memory is the movie's focus in particular—Kubo surprisingly and poignantly depicts early onset Alzheimer's in a manner that rivals most "adult" films. Anchored by a strong script and featuring one of the most realized fantasy worlds in recent memory, Kubo and the Two Strings is an excellent watch for anyone who appreciates great storytelling or animation in general.

Read the Kubo and the Two Strings Script

About Script Pipeline

Through annual competitions, Script Pipeline discovers and develops writers of all levels for film and television, connecting them to producers, agents, and managers. Since 1999, several produced films and over $6 million in screenplay and TV pilot spec sales from alumni are credited to Script Pipeline’s unique, intensive process of long-term writer-to-industry facilitation. Contest finalists and winners work with Script Pipeline’s senior executives year-around, getting broader exposure for their work in addition to continuous, one-on-one development assistance.

Recent success stories include competition alum Evan Daugherty selling Snow White and the Huntsman to Universal for $3 million and later taking the lead on studio projects Divergent, Ninja Turtles, and the upcoming Rose Red from Disney and Earthseed from Paramount. Evan was previously attached to write the limited series Esmeralda for ABC Studios, GI Joe 3 for Paramount, an adaptation of Myst for Hulu, and the Tomb Raider reboot. His contest-winning script Killing Season (formerly Shrapnel) was produced and starred Academy Award-winner Robert De Niro and John Travolta.

Tripper Clancy, another former Script Pipeline Screenwriting Contest winner, sold the road comedy The Ambassadors to 20th Century Fox and the pitch Winter Break to QED International, and was previously attached to write the comedy Stranded for Sony. Tripper is currently writing the animated comedy Shedd for Paramount, in addition to Hacker Camp for Hasbro. In April 2016, he sold the spec Stuber to Fox for the mid-six figures, and in May 2017 was brought on board for an adaptation of the bestselling novel The Art of Fielding.

Micah Barnett, whose work was developed through Script Pipeline coverage services, sold The Rabbit to Warner Bros. for six-figures and a TV pilot, Ricochet, to NBC. Screenwriter Brian Watanabe had his Script Pipeline “Recommend” action/comedy, Rogue’s Gallery (later titled Operation: Endgame), also initially developed by Script Pipeline, produced by Michael Ohoven (Capote) and Sean McKittrick (Get Out). The film starred Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover), Adam Scott (Parks and Rec), Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent), Maggie Q, Ellen Barkin, Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul), and an ensemble cast. The Living Wake, Script Pipeline’s first produced film starring Academy Award-nominee Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) and comedian Mike O’Connell (Dr. Ken), received high praise when it made its festival debut in 2010.

In October 2017, production will begin on the 2015 Script Pipeline contest-winning screenplay Militia, written by Henry Dunham. Henry will make his directorial debut with the crime/thriller. The film is set to star Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Walking Dead) and Jack Huston (Boardwalk Empire). Madhouse Entertainment signed Henry a few weeks after he was announced as the winner of the competition, with UTA following suit.

Jen Goldson, another 2015 contest selection, saw her romantic comedy Off the Menu produced in 2016, starring Santino Fontana (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) and Dania Ramirez (Devious Maids). Jen was introduced to director Jay Silverman at a Script Pipeline event, and the screenplay went into production in less than a year. The film will be released in 2017.

A number of original feature and TV projects are in various stages of development, and well over 100 writers have signed with representation or had their work optioned as a result of facilitation. With Script Pipeline execs actively expanding their industry network on a daily basis, the company is continuously on the hunt for quality material to co-produce or help put into production.

By the end of 2017, it’s estimated that 15,000 screenplays, pilots, and original pitches will have been reviewed through the competitions, making Script Pipeline the leading review outlet for writers worldwide.

*Industry requests to review material from Script Pipeline writers can be made here.

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