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Summit’s Post-’Twilight’ Chapter To Be Underwritten By Book Adaptations

Mike Fleming

The start of Summit Entertainment’s trajectory began when the mini-major convinced Stephenie Meyer to sell her Twilight Saga book series after she’d been left so frustrated by how Paramount Pictures let it languish. Was it a billion dollar lucky break? As the vampire-werewolf series that fueled Summit’s recent $750 million refinancing comes to a close, Summit has bet heavily on books for its future franchises. Under production chief Erik Feig, Summit has been as prolific a buyer of books as any studio in town over the past two years. Most are conducive to young casts.

As Deadline predicted, Summit Entertainment has closed a screen rights deal for Veronica Roth’s young adult novel Divergent, which will be published by the HarperCollins imprint Katherine Tegen Books. It takes place in a futuristic dystopia where society is divided into factions as kids are categorized based on human traits. A teenage girl and guy rebel against the labels, which is a very dangerous thing to do. The buying community has compared it to The Hunger Games in tone and violent content. Red Wagon’s Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher will produce with Pouya Shahbazian. The latter works for FinePrint Productions and stirred up some dust in the early deal brokering with what I’m told were high demands like 35% of the fee from whatever established producer came onto the picture, even though the book fell … Read More »

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Nicholas Hoult To Star In Summit’s ‘Warm Bodies’

Mike Fleming

Nicholas Hoult, who already bagged the title role in Jack the Giant Killer, has landed the lead in Warm Bodies, the Summit Entertainment adaptation of the Isaac Marion novel. The book will be published by Atria, and the film will be directed by Jonathan Levine, who wrote the script. Like the Jack role, this was one of the most coveted parts for young actors.

Hoult will play an existentially tormented zombie who begins an unlikely friendship with the girlfriend of one his victims, and it starts a chain reaction that transforms him and perhaps will do the same for his fellow zombies and maybe the whole lifeless world. Summit production president Erik Feig and veep Gillian Bohrer are overseeing.

Shooting starts late summer, after Hoult completes Jack the Giant Killer for director Bryan Singer at New Line. Hoult is repped by UTA and UK-based Independent. The British actor, who has grown from the About A Boy hanf-pint into a 6’3″ leading man. Hoult starred in the original UK series Skins, and starred with Colin Firth in the Tom Ford-directed A Single Man.

Hoult will next be seen playing the role of Beast in X-Men: First Class coming out in June through 20th Century Fox. Hoult will also star in Fury Road, the George Miller-directed prequel to the Mad Max films. That will film next year, with Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron also starring.

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