Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has closed a deal to turn the David Guggenheim and Nicholas Mennuti novel Weaponized into a feature with Scott Stuber producing through his Bluegrass Films banner. Guggenheim, who wrote Safe House for the studio and Stuber, will adapt the novel he co-authored. Deal was high six-figures for the book and seven-figures factoring in Guggenheim’s scripting fee.

The novel, to be published by the Little Brown suspense imprint Mulholland Books on July 30, is a thriller set in Southeast Asia. A wanted man having fled the U.S. to escape charges exchanges passports with another American tourist. Bad things result. There is a bit of topicality to the NSA-surveillance back story and the exiled protagonist, given recent developments involving Edward Snowden.

Stuber is coming off Identity Thief and Ted, and he’s producing the Michael Cuesta-directed Kill The Messenger with Jeremy Renner, and the Seth MacFarlane-directed A Million Ways To Die In The West. His exec Alexa Faigen will oversee the project with Uni’s Sara Scott. Deal comes as Guggenheim and Stuber are currently working on a sequel to the Denzel Washington-Ryan Reynolds 2012 thriller Safe House, and Black Box.

Weaponized marks Guggenheim’s debut as a novelist. His other scripting projects include Lionsgate’s Puzzle Palace and Fox’s Narco Sub. He’s repped by Paradigm, manager Adam Kolbrenner of Madhouse Entertainment and attorney Jamie Afifi. Mennuti is represented by Jonah Straus of Straus Literary.