EXCLUSIVE: Steve Carell is attached to star in and produce Conviction, a heist film that was bought as a spec script two years ago by Warner Bros and Silver Pictures. The script by Jonathan Herman, which made the Black List, follows a mastermind bank robber who serves five years in prison following a botched heist who is forced by an FBI agent to entrap his protege as the upstart pulls off a multimillion-dollar job. The original script had a Heat tone, but it stalled. It is being turned into an action comedy with a tone similar to 48 Hours and Ocean’s Eleven, with Carell at its center. Joel Silver, who has had success with this kind of thing with 48 Hours and Lethal Weapon, will produce the film with Carell and Silver Pictures head Andrew Rona. Silver Pictures’ Alex Heineman will be executive producer with Vance DeGeneres and Charlie Hartsock, who run Carell’s Warner Bros-based Carousel banner. They will set a writer to redraft the project. Carell’s repped by WME and Media Four.
EXCLUSIVE: Hours after Deadline revealed the impending exit of New Regency chairmen Bob Harper and Hutch Parker, I’m told that former Paramount Pictures production president Brad Weston is in deep negotiations to run the production/financing company as president/CEO. That …
EXCLUSIVE: Sean Penn is circling The Last Photograph, and I’m told he plans to join Christian Bale in the Kurt Johnstad-scripted drama that will be directed by Niels Arden Oplev, director of the Swedish The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. The film is moving from Warner Bros, and is in negotiations to move to Dark Castle, whose Joel Silver and Andrew Rona would board the project as producers and put up the financing. Zack and Deborah Snyder are producing with Hollywood Gang’s Gianni Nunnari.
The film came from an idea by Snyder, who set it up at Warner Bros with his wife and Nunnari after they all worked together on 300. Set in Afghanistan, it is a timely drama that has elements of The Searchers and Taken. Bale plays a war correspondent who witnesses and is the only survivor of an attack on a group of Americans. Penn is circling the role of a retired ex-special ops soldier who comes to the scene determined to free a family member who has been kidnapped. The journalist agrees to help identify the kidnappers and travel the rough terrain to find them, in exchange for the story. The road brings them in confrontation with tribal regions of Afghanistan, and none of the diplomats will help.