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Ruth Sabin

May 2017 Script Sales

By | Script Sales

May was a slower month for spec sales. Adam D’Alba’s horror spec The Infinity Reel has found a home at Paramount, with 21 Laps Entertainment and Bullitt Entertainment producing. The movie, based on D’Alba’s pilot, will follow a paranormal investigator who investigates a strange phenomenon in small town and along the way finds an eerie connection to his own past. Amazon Studios has picked up another spec, This Is Jane by Daniel Loflin. The drama is based on Laura Kaplan’s non-fiction book The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service, set in the years just before Roe v. Wade.

Other script sales:

– Andy Bellin will adapt Brett Velicovich and Christopher S. Stewart’s Drone Warrior into a script for Paramount.

– Peter Ackerman to write the Angry Birds sequel for Columbia.

– Greg Russo to write the Resident Evil reboot for Screen Gems. James Wan to produce.

– Ol Parker (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) to write/direct the Mamma Mia sequel for Universal and Playtone.

– Gary Sanchez Productions picked up Andrew Model and Jarrad Paul’s pitch about a washed-up TV star who reconnected with his TV show son who’s now a huge star. Will Ferrell and Jason Momoa to star.

– Annapurna Pictures, Plan B, and Gary Sanchez have teamed for Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic, which McKay will write and direct. Christian Bale, Steve Carell, and Amy Adams are set to star.

Trial & Error – Pilot

By | Essential Reading - Screenplays and Pilots

Trial & Error isn’t the most revolutionary show. The mockumentary borrows heavily from Making a Murderer, The Jinx, and other recent true crime stories that have recently gained pop culture notoriety. In lesser hands, the show could have settled for a parody of those documentaries, adding nothing new to the table but jokes and sight gags, but creators Jeff Astrof (The New Adventures of Old Christine, Friends) and Matt Miller (Chuck, the Lethal Weapon TV show) went a step further and centered the series on a group of sympathetic outsiders: the bisexual poetry professor accused of killing his wife in the Deep South (John Lithgow), the junior defense attorney from New York hoping for his big break (Nicholas D’Agosto), his legal assistant with a laundry list of psychological and medical conditions (Sherri Shepherd), and his investigator who was fired from the police department for sheer incompetence (Steven Boyer).

The show is able to delicately balance the stakes of the story with the humor. The people of East Peck, South Carolina, immediately label Lithgow’s Larry Henderson as a murderer, and the threat of the death penalty hangs over Larry’s trial throughout the show. Prosecutor Carol Anne Keane (Jayma Mays) is gunning for it; she has aspirations to be East Peck’s first female D.A., and a death penalty conviction would seal it for her. But despite the stakes, much of the humor comes from the defense team. Larry is kind-hearted—the script describes him as “harmless”—but he’s also oblivious, going as far as worrying more about whether the cable guy’s coming than his wife’s death while on the phone with the 911 operator. D’Agosto’s Josh Segal (described by the citizens of East Peck as a “Northeasterner”) attempts to corral his assistants and his defendant and plays the role of the straight man throughout the proceedings.

The game cast and sharp writing help elevate this series to the next level, and this is a great series for those itching for something similar to Parks and Recreation.

Read the Trial & Error Pilot

April 2017 Script Sales

By | Script Sales

April was a strong month for writers. Voltage Productions and Chris Morgan Productions are teaming to produce Luke Paradise’s action/mystery spec The Prodigal. The feature follows a soldier who returns home to investigate his estranged brother’s death. Universal has picked up Todd Rosenberg’s drama spec All My Life. The script follows the true story of Solomon Chau and Jennifer Carter, an engaged couple who raise money to fund the wedding of their dreams after Chau is diagnosed with liver cancer. Melissa Stack’s untitled comedy spec, about an older woman who goes on vacation with her much-younger boyfriend’s family, has found a home at Twentieth Century Fox. Stack will also direct. Sony and Immersive Pictures are moving forward with Noah Griffith and Daniel Stewart’s Fragment. The sci-fi/thriller, based on Griffith and Stewart’s 2015 short, follows a crashed Air Force pilot who follows a mysterious radio beacon to discover something not of this Earth.

Other script sales include:

– M. Night Shyamalan to write/direct Glass for Universal, Blumhouse, and Blinding Edge. The movie will serve a dual sequel to Shyamalan’s Unbreakable and Split.

– After landing on 2016’s Black List, Elyse Hollander’s Madonna biopic Blonde Ambition has found a home at Universal, with Brett Ratner producing.

– Summit Entertainment and Atomic Monster are signed on to produce Brad Keene’s thriller Smart House. Not to be confused with the Katey Sagal–starring TV movie, this Smart House is based on an idea from James Wan and will follow a family in witness protection whose smart house goes into self-defense mode when assassins strike. Wan to produce, and Alexandre Aja to direct.

– Philip Gawthorne set to write Universal’s adaptation of Chrononauts, a comic book series created by Mark Millar and Sean Gordon Murphy.

– James Gunn will write/direct the third movie in his Guardians of the Galaxy series for Disney and Marvel.

– John Ridley to write/direct A Needle in a Timestack, a sci-fi/time travel drama based on Robert Silverberg’s short story, for Miramax.

– The Jim Henson Company and Tristar have tapped Jay Basu and Fede Alvarez for the spinoff/remake of the 1986 masterpiece Labyrinth. Alvarez to direct, and Basu to write from a story by him and Alvarez.

– Universal picked up Night School from Kevin Hart, Matthew Kellard, Harry Ratchford, Joey Wells and Nick Stoller. Hart came up with the idea and will also star/produce. Tim Story in talks to direct.