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Disney Acquires Coast Guard Rescue Saga ‘The Finest Hours’

By | Friday August 12, 2011 @ 10:06am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: While the summer dealmaking has tapered off in the dog days of August, a big one went down yesterday. In a deal worth high-six against seven-figures, Walt Disney Pictures acquired a package to make a movie out of the bestselling book The Finest Hours, with Oscar-nominated The Fighter scribes Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson to write the story of a daring Coast Guard rescue off Cape Cod in 1952. The project was set up through Jim Whitaker’s Entertainment and he will produce with Dorothy Aufiero, who worked with the writers as the original producer of The Fighter.

Published in 2009 by Scribner, the Casey Sherman and Michael J. Tougias-authored book tells the story of a Coast Guard rescue undertaken after two oil tankers were torn in half by treacherous waves during a deadly nor’easter blizzard. There were four rescue efforts, including two undertaken by a handful of men on two old, wooden, motorized 36-foot lifeboats. The men understood they had no business fighting frozen gale winds and seas but went anyway in an attempt to rescue the 84 men who were floating on halves of the cracked and sinking oil tankers. Read More »

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Alternative Thinker Malcolm Gladwell Smartens Up Disney Drama ‘Hexum’

By | Monday March 28, 2011 @ 7:58am PDT
Mike Fleming

Who said that there was no deep thinking in Hollywood studio films? Disney has hired Malcolm Gladwell to smarten up Hexum, a drama script from David Arata, whose credits include Spy Games and Children of Men. The Hexum protagonist is a CIA threat-assessment analyst, an alternative-thinking brainiac who is relegated to a distant corner of the CIA where he assembles theories nobody pays attention to. By connecting a series of seemingly random occurrences, he uncovers a sinister adversary planning an imminent global threat. And of course, his biggest challenge is to get anybody to believe him. Gladwell, the New Yorker writer best known for writing the books The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference and Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, will inject some real logic into the wiz kid’s theories, and will get credit as executive producer.

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