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Toronto: Fox 2000 Acquires Screen Rights To Novel ‘The Language Of Flowers’; Lucy Fisher and Doug Wick To Produce

By | Friday September 9, 2011 @ 11:08am PDT
Mike Fleming

Fox 2000 Pictures has optioned screen rights to Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s debut novel The Language of Flowers, with the movie to be produced by Lucy Fisher and Doug Wick’s Red Wagon banner. Fox literary consultant Drew Reed championed the project, which Carla Hacken will oversee for the studo; Rachel Shane will oversee for Red Wagon. Diffenbaugh’s novel, a New York Times bestseller and published by Ballantine Books, tells the story of a woman brought up in the foster care system. Communicating through the Victorian art of flower arrangement, she learns to overcome her troubled past, accept love from a flower vendor, and finally reconcile with the only mother she has known. Film rights were represented by Sylvie Rabineau of RWSG and publishing rights by Sally Wofford-Girand of Brick House Literary Agents.

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Ben Affleck Circling Big ‘Great Gatsby’ Role

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Ben Affleck is in talks to play the role of Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby, the Baz Luhrmann-directed 3D adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald literary classic at Warner Bros. Now, Affleck will have to work to fit this in. After starring in and directing The Town, he’s prepping to direct Argo, a film about the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. But signs point toward him making time in his schedule to join Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan in Gatsby. Both projects are at Warner Bros.

Tom Buchanan is the husband of Daisy (Mulligan), in a role originated by Bruce Dern in the 1974 film.  DiCaprio plays Jay Gatsby (Robert Redford starred in the original) and Maguire plays Nick Carraway (Sam Waterston in the 1974 pic). Luhrmann, who wrote the script with Craig Pearce, is still in the process of setting the roles of Jordan Baker (originated by Lois Chiles), the gas station owner George Wilson (Scott Wilson) and his wife Myrtle (played by Karen Black in the original). Tom is having an affair with Myrtle, and they all play a role in a tragedy.

Luhrmann, Catherine Martin and Catherine Knapman of Luhrmann/Bazmark Films will produce with Red Wagon partners Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher. G Mac Brown will also produce. WME reps Affleck.

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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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Summit Entertainment Near Deal For ‘Divergent’

By | Thursday February 10, 2011 @ 11:57am PST
Mike Fleming

Summit Entertainment continues its prolific book rights buying as it nears a deal for the Veronica Roth novel Divergent, with Red Wagon partners Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher attached to produce. The book is compared to The Hunger Games because of the age of the characters and the violence that takes place in a futuristic setting. This tale takes place in a futuristic dystopia where society is divided into factions based on human traits. A 16-year old leaves her faction to join a rival faction, but during the violent initiation into the new faction, she falls in love with a young man and they try to find their place in this rough world. The book will be published by Katherine Tegen Books, a division of HarperCollins Children’s Books. More to come on this one.

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Warner Bros Nearing Deal To Acquire Baz Luhrmann’s ‘The Great Gatsby’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: While James Bond has gotten the lion’s share of attention from studios this week, Jay Gatsby has also been making a stir around town. I’m told Warner Bros has emerged as the clear frontrunner to finance and take worldwide distribution on The Great Gatsby, the Baz Luhrmann-directed adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary classic.

The film will star Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan. The pieces are still coming together, but a deal could be done by Friday. Deals with the cast will follow, with DiCaprio furthest along in negotiations to play Gatsby. Red Wagon partners Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher have joined the project, and will produce with Luhrmann, Catherine Martin and Catherine Knapman of Luhrmann/Bazmark Films. G Mac Brown will also produce. Luhrmann wrote the script with Craig Pearce. Given what is happening, recent reports that Luhrmann might not do The Great Gatsby seem completely unfounded. Though Luhrmann also has an original musical project and is refashioning his breakout film Strictly Ballroom as a stage musical, he has been squarely focused on Gatsby. He spent weeks recently  reading top young actresses for the role of the manipulative Daisy Buchanan, before Luhrmann decided that Mulligan was the right fit to play alongside DiCaprio and Maguire (who’ll play narrator Nick Carraway). Warner Bros seems a good fit: the … Read More »

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