EXCLUSIVE: Summit Entertainment has acquired screen rights to the William Paul Young novel The Shack, with John Fusco aboard to write the script. The film will be produced by Gill Netter through his Netter Productions banner, and Brad Cummings.
The logline: In the aftermath of a devastating personal tragedy, Mackenzie Allen Philips receives a mysterious note in his mailbox inviting him to The Shack. The letter is signed Papa, his wife’s nickname for God. Mack responds and finds himself in the presence of God, and a life-transforming journey of truth, forgiveness, and ultimately acceptance. The book was originally published in 2007 out of a garage by Cummings and Wayne Jacobsen, caught on and has become a global bestseller that has sold over 18 million copies in 39 languages, with 10 million in the U.S. It has ben on The New York Times Bestseller List for more than 180 straight weeks.
It might not be the easiest sounding book to adapt, but is certainly in good hands with Netter, who has a strong track record with heartfelt family fare, even if it takes years to find the handle. Netter struggled for over a decade through the development process on the Yann Martel novel Life Of Pi, and that turned into an Oscar-winning film that grossed north of $600 million worldwide. He also produced The Blind Side and Marley & Me, two other challenging book adaptations that worked well on the screen. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures-based Fake Empire has acquired Let It Snow, a pitch package that includes rights to an anthology of three intersecting short stories by young-adult novelists John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle. The script will be written by Jordan Roter, and the goal is to turn it into a teen Love Actually. It revolves around what a crippling snowstorm does to one town on Christmas Eve. The film will be produced by Paramount-based Fake Empire partners Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, who bought the pitch through their discretionary fund. Fake Empire’s Lis Rowinski brought in the project. Face Empire has set several projects since landing at Paramount, including Fun Size, which Schwartz will direct, and Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick.
Roter, who’s repped by WME and Underground, is already in the Paramount fold. She set up Camp Rules there, adapting her own novel into a film that has Kristen Kiwi Smith attached to direct and Montecito producing. Separately, Paramount and producers Gil Netter and Brad Weston hired Roter to rewrite How Could You Do This To Me.
EXCLUSIVE: After ending a bunch of old producing pacts as the studio remade itself into a family-friendly franchise film factory, Disney’s production president Sean Bailey has made a 2-year first look deal with Gil Netter and his Netter Productions banner. Netter, who had a deal at 20th Century Fox, certainly fits that family mandate: his most recent producing credits include Marley & Me and The Blind Side, which got him nominated for Best Picture. Read More »