EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros TV just re-upped Monica Breen and Alison Schapker for a 7-figure deal to keep co-executive producing Fringe for Season 4 under Bad Robot’s banner. And the pair with long ties to J.J. Abrams (they also worked on his TV dramas Lost and Alias) will develop another TV series for his banner. But it’s what they’re doing in the movie arena for J.J. and Bad Robot that interests me. At a time when female writing teams are scarce, and even more so in the sci-fi genre, I’ve learned they’ve been hired to do a rewrite on one of J.J.’s top-secret projects at Paramount. With a working title of Zanbato, the script involves Japanese history and robotics: “swashbuckling robots with swords” is how one insider describes it to me. (That’s the project which Francis Lawrence is no longer attached to direct.) The female writing team will continue to develop original material with J.J. and Bad Robot. Their “heightened reality” crime drama Pulp was written under their deal last year, and now it may turn into a graphic novel or potential comic book series for Warner’s DC Comics. Hard to believe that Breen and Schapker were once showrunners for ABC’s relationship melodrama Brothers and Sisters.
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