EXCLUSIVE: Producer Mark Gordon has set up another drama project at ABC. It hails from feature writer and frequent Ben Affleck collaborator Aaron Stockard. Written by Stockard in his TV debut, Conviction centers on Amy Koch. When her 20-year-old son, Steven, is convicted on two counts of first-degree murder, she is simply unable to accept it, and so, facing a slim list of options, Amy sees no alternative but to take matters into her own hands. ABC Studios and studio-based Mark Gordon Co. are producing, with Gordon and Nick Pepper executive producing. Stockard, repped by WME and 3 Arts, co-wrote Affleck’s first two movies as a director, Gone Baby Gone and The Town. He also recently was brought in to work on the script for the Whitey Bulger movie Affleck has in the works as a directing vehicle, with Matt Damon playing New England’s most notorious gangster. Conviction joins five other sales for the Mark Gordon Co. this season — dramas with writers Tom Donaghy, Dean Georgaris and Kathryn Price & Nichole Millard at ABC, and comedies at ABC and Fox.
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros is making a deal with Aaron Stockard to do script work on the Whitey Bulger movie that Ben Affleck plans to direct, with Matt Damon playing New England’s most notorious gangster and a man who has inspired numerous movie and TV bad guys, most recently played by James Woods on the Showtime series Ray Donovan. Affleck and Damon are producing through their Warners-based Pearl Street banner.
The script was originated by Boardwalk Empire creator and writer Terrence Winter, and the hiring of Stockard shows that Affleck and Damon are serious even though there is a rival project, Black Mass, that threatens to go into production first. Stockard worked with Affleck as a writer on his directing vehicles Gone Baby Gone and The Town.
Deadline broke the story on the film in late 2011, and the plan is for Affleck to also co-star along with Damon and his brother Casey Affleck, making it a real Good Will Hunting reunion.
EXCLUSIVE: The Town scribe Aaron Stockard will adapt the Thomas Perry crime novel Strip for RT Features and Thunder Road Pictures. RT’s Rodrigo Teixeira and Thunder Road’s Basil Iwanyk will produce while RT’s Fernando Loureiro will be executive producer. A strip club owner is robbed by a masked gunman just as he’s about to place his cash receipts in a bank’s night deposit box. The enraged and mobbed up club owner sends half a dozen thugs out to find anyone who’s spending large and probably doesn’t know they robbed a gangster. The security men come up with Joe Carver, who not only evades capture but becomes determined to make the gangster sorry he ever sought revenge. Aside from co-writing The Town (which Iwanyk produced), Stockard also teamed with Ben Affleck on the script Gone Baby Gone and recently sold the drama pitch Thick As Thieves to FBC with Peter Chernin producing. RT Features is new in Hollywood, but well established in Brazil, producing such Portuguese language films as Romeo & Juliet Get Married and Drained. RT is looking to develop English language films, linking up with State-side producing partners. Iwanyk is in post production on Clash of the Titans 2 and will next shoot the Jeff Bridges-starrer Seventh Son and the Clint Eastwood-directed A Star Is Born with Beyonce Knowles. Stockard is repped by WME.
Up-and-coming feature writers Chris Shafer and Paul Vicknair, whose movie script A Many Splintered Thing was recently named one of the 10 Nicholls Fellowship finalists, have sold a comedy project to CBS. Titled Girlfriend Season, it is an observational romantic comedy that follows six people — a young married couple and their friends. Shafer and Vicknair, repped by UTA and Brillstein, are writing, with Generate producing.
Fox has bought a drama pitch from Aaron Stockard, who co-wrote Ben Affleck’s Gone Baby Gone and The Town. Titled Thick As Thieves, the drama is a blue-collar soap set in Boston. Stockard, repped by WME and 3 Arts, is writing, 20th TV and Chernin Entertainment producing.
NBC has bought a character-driven procedural drama from veteran Law & Order: SVU writer Judith K. McCreary whose main character is modeled after Tony Ciaglia, whose real-life story is told in the upcoming book The Serial Killer Whisperer: How One Man’s Tragedy Helped Unlock the Deadliest Secrets of the World’s Most Terrifying Killers. Universal TV is producing. McCreary is with ICM and manager Darryl Taja.