EXCLUSIVE: In competitive bidding, FilmNation Entertainment has acquired In the Event of a Moon Disaster, a Mike Jones spec script that re-imagines the first moon mission. In this version, disaster strikes and the astronauts find themselves up against insurmountable odds. Jones, a former colleague of mine at Variety, turned his attention to screenwriting and has been working steadily. Most recently, he has been collaborating with Henry Selick on an untitled Pixar project, and Jones also scripted a reboot of Popeye for Sony Pictures. FilmNation’s Aaron Ryder will produce the space mission film, and Glen Basner will handle international sales. It will be the largest-budget film so far for FilmNation, which has aggressively put together its slate of projects.
FilmNation is in talks with Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon to star in Mud, the next film by Jeff Nichols, with whom FilmNation worked on Take Shelter. It also is fully financing Paranormal Activity helmer Oren Peli’s next untitled project, and recently completed the Jennifer Lawrence-starrer House at the End of the Street and The Raven, which stars John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe; Relativity Media releases that James McTeigue-directed film early next year. FilmNation will be bringing to Toronto Take Shelter; Pedro Almodovar’s The Skin I Live In; the Hugh Laurie-starrer The Oranges; and Midnight’s Children, an adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s novel. Jones is repped by CAA and The Gotham Group.
EXCLUSIVE: V For Vendetta helmer James McTeigue has been set to direct Message From the King for FilmNation Entertainment. Scripted by Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cornwell (Unknown), the thriller centers on Jacob King, an enigmatic outsider who comes to LA to investigate the sudden disappearance of his sister. FilmNation Entertainment production head Aaron Ryder will produce with Rhodri Thomas of The Ink Factory and Ash Shah and production will begin in late fall with FilmNation handling international sales.
McTeigue just completed the John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe thriller The Raven for FilmNation and Intrepid Pictures. Relativity Media releasing the film March 9 and McTeigue and Ryder will do a little tub-thumping for the film at Comic-Con. “After working with James on The Raven and then seeing a cut of the film, it was very clear to us that we needed to make his next movie,” Ryder said.
Cornwell and Butcher are adapting the Warren Ellis graphic novel series Gravel for Legendary Pictures and Cornwell is a cofounder of The Ink Factory. That company is prepping an adaptation of John Le Carre’s A Most Wanted Man, which Anton Corbijn will direct. CAA reps McTeigue.
Message From The King, a thriller that once had Will Smith and Michael Mann circling before it languished when Warner Independent Pictures folded, is generating some new heat. Glen Basner’s FilmNation Entertainment has come aboard to produce the action thriller and package it for spring 2011 production start. FilmNation’s Aaron Ryder will produce alongside Ash Shah. The script by Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cornwell focuses on Jacob King, a mysterious outsider who comes to L.A. to bring those responsible for his younger sister’s disappearance to justice. Cornwell and Butcher wrote Unknown White Male, the upcoming Warner Bros thriller that stars Liam Neeson and January Jones.
Cornwell and Butcher’s new production company, White Hare, is also getting a producing credit and the shingle bears watching. Cornwell’s the son of The Constant Gardener author John Le Carre, and part of the company’s mandate is to package his father’s works into movies. That includes an adaptation of A Most Wanted Man, as well as the upcoming Our Kind of Traitor, the latter of which is being adapted by Hossein Amini.