EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has attached Guy Ritchie to direct a new version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s pirate tale Treasure Island, and has set Alex Harakis to write the script. Ritchie will produce the film with his partner Lionel Wigram and Langley Park’s Kevin McCormick. It was Wigram who originally set up a stylized version of the classic novel, much the way he did Sherlock Holmes, which Ritchie directed. He set it up before he and Ritchie became partners. Their first move after partnering was to take on The Man From U.N.C.L.E., after Steven Soderbergh dropped out of the film. UTA and Magnet Management rep Harakis.
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros is making a deal with Guy Ritchie and his new partner Lionel Wigram to come aboard The Man From U.N.C.L.E., the film that Steven Soderbergh left just recently over budget and difficulty with casting after George Clooney dropped out. Based on the classic TV show, the film has a script by Scott Z. Burns. Ritchie and Wigram are forming a shingle together after making the Sherlock Holmes films. The intention is for Ritchie to direct the film.
This would be the first project under the new shingle for the British director and producer, who open Sherlock Holmes: Game Of Shadows on December 16. The film premieres in the UK tonight.
Soderbergh has set his sights on The Bitter Pill, a thriller that Summit will put into production next year, after this week closing a deal that calls for a green light commitment on the Burns-scripted thriller.
When Deadline broke news last month that Warner Bros has paid $2 million to acquire the David Dobkin spec script Arthur & Lancelot in a bidding war that involved Universal and Fox, insiders said the project would be fast-tracked. That was an understatement. The studio has dated the movie for a March 15, 2013 release. It’s a $90 million budget contemporary re-imagining of the classic tale that Dobkin will direct and produce, with Lionel Wigram with Jeff Kleeman exec producing. Dobkin’s about to open the Universal comedy The Change-Up with Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds. The deal essentially squashed several other sword and the stone pics that Warner Bros was developing. That included Bryan Singer’s remake of the 1981 John Boorman pic Excalibur, and the version that Sherlock Holmes director Guy Ritchie had with Trainspotting scribe John Hodge.
Lionel Wigram, who famously hatched a graphic novel version of Sherlock Holmes before setting that franchise up at Warner Bros., has tapped into another comic for a feature film project. Wigram Productions has acquired rights to RASL, a black-and-white science fiction noir comic book series written and drawn by Jeff Smith. RASL is an ex-military scientist-turned-art thief who jumps to parallel universes to steal treasured pieces of art. During these trips, he gets discovered by his former employer, and finds himself trying to protect the world’s most dangerous secret. Smith, who launched the series in 2008, also writes Bone, a series that has received 10 Eisner and 11 Harvey Awards. Wigram, who just wrapped Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, said he was tipped to the comic by colleague Peter Eskelsen and bought it with his own cash. “We’ll team with a writer and figure out how to adapt it to the screen and hopefully it will become a big movie franchise for Warner Bros.,” he said. ICM brokered the deal. Wigram will produce, and Eskelsen and Jeff Smith will be exec producers.