EXCLUSIVE: ImageMovers has acquired film rights to The Execution of Noa P Singleton: A Novel, the best-seller by first-time author Elizabeth L. Silver. Crown published the book in June. Robert Zemeckis, Jack Rapke and Jackie Levine will produce for ImageMovers. Sam Goldberg and Ilan Ulmer will finance development and will be executive producers. The Execution of Noa P Singleton is a murder mystery about a twentysomething college dropout who sits on death row for murder in Pennsylvania until a powerful attorney, the victim’s own mother, attempts to have the death sentence commuted. ImageMovers most recently produced the John Gatins-penned Flight, which Zemeckis directed. UTA brokered the book deal on behalf of Elizabeth L. Silver and publishing agent Richard Pine of Inkwell Management.
EXCLUSIVE: Focus Features has optioned Rose, a script by Nathaniel Halpern that has been developed by ImageMovers to be produced by Robert Zemeckis and Jack Rapke. The logline: A woman who volunteers to physically fashion herself after another woman loses all sense of identity and begins to covet the other woman’s life. Zemeckis isn’t looking to direct this, I’m told, but there is a strong female lead role, and Focus exec Christopher Kopp is overseeing the pic. Zemeckis, who has eyed such projects as the one on tightrope walker Philippe Petit, hasn’t fixed on a next project to follow Flight.
EXCLUSIVE: Universal has acquired Demonologist, a novel manuscript by Andrew Pyper. The book will be sold at auction shortly, but most important the film project will be produced by ImageMovers partners Robert Zemeckis, Jack Rapke and Steve Starkey. The studio made a preemptive deal for rights to the manuscript. The plot: When a professor who studies Paradise Lost accepts a free trip to Italy, a demonic spirit appears to kill his daughter, and he must go on a dark journey of discovery in hopes of getting her back. Pyper is repped by UTA and Toronto-based Anne McDermid & Associates.
Deadline revealed a couple of weeks ago that Robert Zemeckis was dropping out of the Warner Bros drama Replay so he could direct Denzel Washington in the Paramount thriller Flight. Paramount just made that move official today:
HOLLYWOOD, CA (September 9, 2011) — Paramount Pictures announced today that Academy Award ® winner Denzel Washington will star, and Academy Award ® winning director Robert Zemeckis will helm, FLIGHT for the studio. Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald will produce under the Parkes/MacDonald production banner along with Zemeckis, Steve Starkey, and Jack Rapke under their ImageMovers banner. The movie is set to begin shooting this October in Atlanta, GA.
Universal has closed a two-year first-look producing deal with Robert Zemeckis and his ImageMovers shingle. ImageMovers will stay in its current headquarters and will not be based on the Universal lot. There doesn’t appear to be a specific movie that Zemeckis will make that triggered the deal; rather, studio brass just wanted to be in business with them. Zemeckis and partners Jack Rapke and Steve Starkey had a rather unceremonious exit from Disney, closing its Marin County animation facility and then watching the Zemeckis-produced performance capture film Mars Needs Moms flop badly at the box office. Zemeckis has devoted himself to the 3D performance capture format, but that seems to have run its course. Every studio is vying to have Zemeckis direct a live-action film, even though the studios know that his company deal is a very rich one. He is the guy, after all, who directed Cast Away and Forrest Gump, and he’s responsible for the Back To The Future franchise that was huge for Universal. Zemeckis has been mentioned as a possible director on several projects including the Paramount drama Flight, for which Denzel Washington has been mentioned as possible star.