The Raven is looking closer to achieving lift off. Gerard Butler is in deep negotiations to play the lead in the sci-fi conspiracy thriller that Ricardo de Montreuil is set to direct for Gold Circle Films and Universal Pictures. The feature, based on a 2010 short film by de Montreuil and Antonio Perez, was penned by Michael Gilio and Justin Marks. Butler is the second actor in as many months named for the movie’s potential lead; The Hunger Games’ Liam Hemsworth had been in talks before. Universal picked up rights to the short in late 2010. The studio and Gold Circle will co-finance the feature, which Gold Circle will produce and Universal will distribute worldwide Paul Brooks will produce for Gold Circle with COO Scott Niemeyer executive producing. Mark Wahlberg will produce alongside Steve Levinson, who originally brought the project to the studio. Nick Osborne, Trevor Engelson and Oly Obst will executive produce for Underground Films. Butler is repped by CAA and Alan Siegel Entertainment.
EXCLUSIVE: In a deal that I hear was around low six figures, Gold Circle Films has acquired Eden, a sci-fi spec script that was written and will be directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi. The script is a modernized take on the Underground Railroad with aliens as the oppressors instead of other humans. Osunsanmi’s story follows a family on the run and trying to get to a free city. Gold Circle’s Paul Brooks will produce with the company’s COO Scott Niemeyer and SVP Production Guy Danella executive producing. This is the second time Gold Circle and Osunsanmi have worked together. It picked up his Fourth Kind script, which made the Black List, and it was made into the 2009 film of the same name starring Milla Jovovich and released by Universal. Since then, Osunsanmi recently directed Evidence for Marc Platt Productions and Bold Films, which Image Entertainment is set to release later this year. Osunsanmi is repped by CAA, Caliber Media, and attorney Stuart Rosenthal.
EXCLUSIVE: Wild Hogs director Walt Becker has signed on to helm Sex On The First Date. Though the title might suggest otherwise, Sex is actually a romantic comedy. Gold Circle Films picked up the screenplay back in 2011 from first time writers Emma Jensen and Sall Grover. The film investigates the idea that having sex on the first date ruins any chance of a relationship really lasting. Gold Circle’s Paul Brooks is producing and Scott Neimeyer is executive producing. Walt Becker is repped by CAA and Luber Roklin Entertainment.
EXCLUSIVE: Gold Circle Films is out to cast on The Brotherhood of the Rose, an adaptation of the David Morrell novel that will be the next film directed by Ross Katz. Katz will shoot it early next year. After getting Oscar nominations for producing In the Bedroom and Lost in Translation, Katz made his directing debut on the 2009 HBO film Taking Chance. The film starred Kevin Bacon as a soldier escorting home to Wyoming the body of a 19- year old marine soldier who was killed in action. Katz, who wrote the script, won DGA and WGA Awards, and Bacon won a Golden Globe for his performance.
Katz and his producing partner Fred Berger adapted The Brotherhood of the Rose from the 1984 novel by Morrell, who also wrote First Blood, the novel that hatched the Rambo series with Sly Stallone. The Brotherhood of the Rose was turned into a 1989 NBC miniseries that starred Robert Mitchum and Peter Strauss. The feature started development at Warner Bros but it languished until Gold Circle picked up the lapsed rights. It is an espionage tale revolving two orphans who were raised by a CIA operative to be assassins, and find themselves targeted for death. Gold Circle’s Paul Brooks will produce, Scott Niemeyer and Norm Waitt will be exec producers and Guy Danella is co-producer. Gold Circle just wrapped The Haunting in Georgia for Lionsgate and is prepping the comedy Pitch Perfect for …
Universal and Gold Circle Films have announced that they teamed to acquire worldwide rights to Pitch Perfect, a musical comedy set in the world of college a cappella groups. Jason Moore will direct from a screenplay by Kay Cannon based on Mickey Rapkin’s nonfiction book Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory. Gold Circle will finance the project and produce it with Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman via their Brownstone Productions. Moore, who has directed numerous TV episodes and Shrek the Musical and Avenue Q on Broadway, is repped by WME; Cannon, who has written several episodes of 30 Rock, is repped by WME and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
EXCLUSIVE: Gold Circle Films has optioned David Rosenfelt’s novel On Borrowed Time, a Hitchcockian thriller published by St. Martin’s Press. Rosenfelt is a former marketing executive who became a screenwriter and then an author. His first novel, the Edgar Award-nominated Open & Shut, hatched a series on a lawyer who takes on impossible cases, particularly if they involve dogs. In his new novel, Rosenfelt focuses on a journalist who’s about to ask his girlfriend to marry him when they get into an accident and she disappears. Her family and even his friends claim she never existed. As he writes about his ordeal in magazine articles, it’s unclear whether the journalist is delusional, the subject of memory experiments, or is the victim of a conspiracy. Summit Talent & Literary Agency and Writers House made his deal, and Gold Circle’s Guy Danella is the exec.
Universal Pictures will distribute six Gold Circle Films between 2012 and 2014, or two each year. The two companies already have partnered on multiple projects in the past decade including White Noise, Because I Said So, The Wedding Date, The Fourth Kind, and Slither. Gold Circle is currently developing Sammy, which will be the first film distributed under the new pact with Universal. Gold Circle Films is best known for My Big Fat Greek Wedding, the highest-grossing romantic comedy of all time.