EXCLUSIVE: The spec script went out last night and the mid against high 6-figure deal just closed. Century Fox acquired The Three Misfortunes of Geppetto for Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps. He’s attached to direct the screenplay by Michael Vukadinovich. 21 Laps execs Dan Cohen and Billy Rosenberg brought in the script that’s a prequel to the story of Pinocchio. Geppetto endures a life of misfortune, war and adventure all to be with Julia Moon, his true love. The sweep is reminiscent of Big Fish or The Princess Bride and it creates a fresh way into the Pinocchio story at a time when revisionist fairy tales are dominating the movie landscape. Warner Bros last year set up a live action Pinocchio film that has the interest of Tim Burton.
It gives Fox another project with Levy, who most recently directed Real Steel, which opened as last weekend’s top grossing film for DreamWorks. Levy’s now producing the Akiva Schaffer-directed Neighborhood Watch with Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill, and he’s expected to next direct the Max Landis-scripted Frankenstein for Fox. Levy’s 21 Laps TV division just debuted the Tim Allen sitcom Last Man Standing to big ratings Tuesday night. The deal is the first big spec sold by Vukadinovich, who wrote the indie comedy Pete & Goat, which has Mark Palansky attached to direct with Ahmet Zappa and Dan Dubiecki … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: I’m hearing Sony Pictures is in negotiations to acquire Pan, which will be scripted as a starring vehicle for Channing Tatum. He’ll produce as will Reid Carolin and Joe Roth. Billy Ray will write the script, a dark re-imagining of the Peter Pan tale. Tatum is starring for the studio in 21 Jump Street. As for Roth, he’s turning fairy tales into gold, first with Alice in Wonderland, and Oz: The Great and Powerful, the Sam Raimi-directed pic that just locked in James Franco to play the title character.
EXCLUSIVE: The smash hit stage musical Wicked is taking its first formative steps toward the movie screen. I’m told the musical’s producer Marc Platt, book writer Winnie Holzman, and songwriter Stephen Schwartz have begun meeting with filmmakers. Insiders confirm that JJ Abrams, James Mangold, Ryan Murphy, and Rob Marshall are among the directors who’ve met or otherwise thrown their hat in the ring. More meetings will take place when the musical’s authors come to town in the fall. The film will be made at Universal, which produced the stage musical with Platt.
After the billion dollar gross of Alice In Wonderland, studios are combing their fairy tale books for classics. It’s crowded on the Oz front –Disney attached Sam Raimi to The Great and Powerful Oz, and Warner Bros has more than one film in development. But the $2 billion in global stage grosses for Wicked put it in league with Mamma Mia!, the long-running stage musical whose movie transfer grossed over $600 million worldwide for Universal.
Wicked, a Wizard of Oz prequel, is based on the Gregory Maguire novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West and focuses on the early relationship between Glinda the Good and Elphaba, a green-skinned beauty before she ended up flying on a broomstick. Wicked began as a movie development project with Platt and Universal, before they changed course and took it to the stage first. It was an immediate sensation, quickly … Read More »