EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros is setting Chris Sparling to adapt the bestselling Jo Nesbo crime novel Blood On Snow for Daniel Espinosa to direct and Leonardo DiCaprio to produce and potentially star in. Sparling is best known for scripting the Ryan Reynolds-in-a-coffin thriller Buried, and he generated what looks to be one of the hot sales titles at Cannes. He scripted Sea Of Trees, the film that Matthew McConaughey and Ken Watanabe will star in for director Gus Van Sant. He’s written several other scripts he plans to direct.
Related: Cannes: Bloom Takes Root With ‘Sea Of Trees’
The studio set up Blood On Snow last March for Appian Way’s DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran to produce with Kevin McCormick’s Langley Park. Jo Nesbo and Niclas Salomonsson are executive producers on the project. This is a two-book series that the Norwegian crime novelist Nesbo wrote under the pseudonym Tom Johansson. Knopf will publish them in the U.S. It revolves around a hit man who’s forced to go into hiding after he fails on a job and finds himself on the run with his intended target, who unfortunately happens to be his boss’ wife. UTA and Kaplan/Perrone rep Sparling. Jon Berg and Cate Adams are overseeing for Warner Bros.
And here I thought only Los Angeles flackery mPRm’s name was moronic. Turns out this fish stinks at the head because its co-founder and president Mark Pogachefsky is now blaming his own client for an Oscar rule-breaking situation that the PR firm should have prevented instead of aided and abetted. After a lot of Sundance hype because of its claustrophobic nightmare premise and star Ryan Reynolds, this movie came and went at the box office in record time after making only $1 million domestic. And not even distributor Lionsgate is campaigning Buried for an Academy Award or anything else. So Buried has zero chance of any golden statuettes this season without its studio support. And yet mPRm while repping Buried let its screenwriter Chris Sparling commit an Oscar taboo even though he didn’t know the rules, as Pogachefsky is admitting. (“Weirdly, I would not be surprised if this was not a setup just to get attention,” Deadline’s awards columnist Pete Hammond comments to me. “How else would he get any notice?”) Entertainment Weekly‘s Dave Karger scoops that Sparling sent a personal missive to members of the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ writers branch gushing about his screenplay — “no film this year — or ever — has done so much with so little” — and respectfully asking them to read it in hopes that it would land on their ballot for Best Original Screenplay. Well, the return address belongs to mPRm. Still, this is hardly a repeat of last year’s Nicolas Chartier scandal because The Hurt Locker was an … Read More »
Media Rights Capital and M Night Shyamalan have set the next thriller to be made under their Night Chronicles banner. And once again, Shyamalan won’t be directing. Instead, The Last Exorcism‘s Daniel Stamm will helm Reincarnate, scripted by Chris Sparling (Buried). Production will begin in 2011, and MRC is producing with Shyamalan. This latest is bout a jury haunted by supernatural forces while deciding the fate of an accused murderer. Today’s deal comes on the eve of this weekend’s release of Devil, the first pic from Night Chronicles, formed to generate genre films hatched by Shyamalan which he doesn’t have to helm.
M. Night Shyamalan has set the second feature to be made through his genre producing banner Night Chronicles. The project comes as Shyalaman promotes development exec Ashwin Rajan to president of production for the Media Rights Capital-backed genre label. Shyamalan and MRC set Chris Sparling to write Twelve Strangers, a thriller that involves a jury deliberating a case involving the supernatural. Sparling scripted Buried, the Rodrigo Cortes-directed Ryan Reynolds-in-a-coffin thriller snapped up by Lionsgate after a raucous midnight premiere screening at Sundance by the writer’s UTA reps.
Rajan is the former agent with whom Shyamalan launched the company to produce projects based on the filmmaker’s ideas. The construct of Shyamalan’s original three-year deal with MRC is to make one film a year with up and coming filmmakers. They’ve wrapped the first Night Chronicles film, the John Dowdle-directed Devil.
The thriller will be distributed next February 11 by Universal. That studio, coincidentally, is the major that so far has shown the most interest in the untitled Shyamalan-scripted thriller that CAA is shopping as his possible next directing project. I’m told Bradley Cooper would play a father on a desperate search for his missing child. It might stray into Taken terrain, but the father taps into some supernatural powers to aid the search. THR reported that Cooper, Bruce Willis and Gwyneth Paltrow are loosely attached. There is no certainty a deal will close at Universal, and I’m told there’s interest from some non-studio backers.
Shyamalan’s now … Read More »