Mike Fleming

Need For Speed MovieEXCLUSIVE: I’m hearing that DreamWorks is in pole position to close a deal for movie rights to Need For Speed, the Electronic Arts video game. UTA, which reps the game maker, brought it to market last week, with Real Steel screenwriter John Gatins attached to produce; his brother George wrote the script. The video game is a cross-country car race from San Francisco to New York. Studios were into it all weekend. I expect the deal to close today.

For DreamWorks, the deal is an important one because it signals that it is coming back to the game as a buyer. The studio was hamstrung by the drawn-out negotiations for the next round of funding from its partner, India-based Reliance. That backer is returning, though it’s putting up less than in its first round of coinage, going from $320 million to somewhere in the $200 million range, with DreamWorks making three to five movies per year. John Gatins wrote Real Steel for DreamWorks. Studio and agency declined to comment.

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