EXCLUSIVE: The Blind Side helmer John Lee Hancock is in early talks with Disney to direct Saving Mr. Banks, the Kelly Marcel-scripted saga of how Walt Disney waged a 14-year courtship to persuade Australian author P.L. Travers to sell him rights to make a film out of Mary Poppins. Disney is near a deal to acquire the Black List script, which is set up with producer Alison Owen of Ruby Films. Disney seems a natural place for the script, considering the studio owns many rights from making the 1964 classic film that starred Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke and David Tomlinson, the latter of whom played Mr. Banks in the film. This is a hot project — names like Tom Hanks to play Disney and Meryl Streep to play Travers have been in the wind — and Disney’s intention is to put it into production this year.
The heart of this script comes from how close Travers felt to her story of a nanny with magical powers. Mary Poppins was highly personal, and reflected hardships in her own life and her relationship with her father, who died when she was 7. Disney finally persuaded her to let him make the film, but she was prickly all the way to the end. While Mary Poppins was lauded immediately, she hated the animated sequences in the film so much that she refused to sell any of her other works to Disney.
Hancock recently attached himself to write and direct The Partner at New Regency, based on the John Grisham bestselling novel. He is repped by CAA.
EXCLUSIVE: The Blind Side director John Lee Hancock has been set to write and direct The Partner, based on the John Grisham bestseller. The project is set up at New Regency, whose principal, Arnon Milchan, previously adapted the Grisham novels … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: John Lee Hancock is returning to television. The Blind Side writer-director has teamed with Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Dan McDermott’s recently launched TV company for an untitled crime drama project that has been sold to ABC. Hancock is … Read More »
Screenwriter John Fusco has taken on the job of adapting Peter Guralnick’s Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley, the book that Fox has been trying to pull together for more than a decade. Steve Bing is producing … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Disney has attached The Blind Side director John Lee Hancock to helm Electric Boy Genius, a film that will be scripted by Doug Wright about a real life Doogie Howser of electrical engineering. The film is based on a 2002 GQ article that Disney optioned years ago about Ryan Patterson. While in diapers, he was stuffing knives into electrical sockets and learning the power of electricity the hard way. After he watched his father do wiring work on the family home, the youth mastered the principles of electrical flow. He was building robots by the time he was in high school and developing innovations like an electronic sign-language translator. The GQ article, written by Andrew Corsello, told of Patterson’s entry into the 2001 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, which he won. That got him a job working in aerospace robotics for Lockheed Martin. Read More »