EXCLUSIVE: Summit Entertainment is in early negotiations with Dean Parisot to direct the Noah Oppenheim-scripted feature about Harry Houdini that Summit has been developing the project for several years. It’s based on the William Kalush and Larry Sloman book The Secret Life of Houdini, The Making of America’s First Superhero. The tale paints Houdini as more than a master illusionist: He was a spy and a true renaissance man across the globe. This project had Hunger Games helmer Gary Ross involved for a bit, but he fell off the project. There have been several Houdini projects in development, including at DreamWorks, but like a lot of magic movies, they’ve faltered. I’ll tell you more when I know it. WME-repped Parisot just wrapped the Summit Entertainment sequel Red 2, with Bruce Willis, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren returning, and Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta-Jones among the new castmembers.
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EXCLUSIVE: Joe Ballarini has been set by Walden Media to rewrite Atlantis 7, a thriller in which an elite military Navy SEAL force attempts to find the mythical city of Atlantis. A military code breaker seeks out his absentee father, who may hold the secret to unlock the clues that make an Atlantis discovery possible, which is key to saving the world. Dean Parisot is attached to direct, and Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps is producing with The Gotham Group. Adam F. Goldberg wrote the first draft adaptation of M. Zachary Sherman’s graphic novel Seal Team 7 and Robert Nelson Jacobs did a rewrite.
Ballarini sold the spec Lockdown At Franklin High to Sony, and has been a steady writer at Fox Animation on such films as Ice Age 4, Leafmen and others. He also scripted The Resident for producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney and Turbo at DreamWorks. Ballarini is repped by Paradigm and Apostle’s George Heller. Pic gives Walden Media another large scale adventure film after Journey 2: The Mysterious Island grossed over $300 million worldwide.
EXCLUSIVE: After Dan Aloni exited CAA and was quickly named a WME partner, the big question was how many of the clients he worked with would jump. Deadline told you that his biggest client, Chris Nolan, declared before Aloni landed that he was staying with his longtime agent wherever he went. I’m hearing that aside from The Dark Knight Rises director, Aloni clients who’ve moved from CAA to WME so far are Tom Shadyac, Michel Gondry, Raja Gosnell, Mandeville Films, Jonathan Mostow, Dean Parisot, Neal Moritz, Andy Fleming and David and Ian Purchase. Several other clients are still in play, including David Dobkin, Jim Carrey, Charles Roven and Jay Roach. More to come.