EXCLUSIVE: Zombieland scribes Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese have been set to script Watch Dogs, a live-action feature based on the upcoming Ubisoft video game. Sony and New Regency are developing the film with Ubisoft. The story centers on Aiden Pearce, a hacker who turns the city of Chicago into his personal stomping grounds to carry out his own brand of justice after a violent family tragedy. He is certainly adept physically, but his true gift is his ability to tap into a citywide computer system and control everything from traffic lights to accessing intel that allows him to engage the bad guys, and thwart attempts to kill innocents.
Wernick and Rheese are currently developing Epsilon, a spec they sold to Sony for Greg Berlanti to direct and for Michael De Luca to produce. The scribes are repped by WME and Hansen, Jacobson. This is the third screen collaboration for New Regency and Ubisoft: Tom Hardy is starring in the Doug Liman-directed Splinter Cell, and Michael Fassbender is starring in Assassin’s Creed, which will have a director shortly. Here is a trailer that gives a better idea of Watch Dogs‘ movie potential.
EXCLUSIVE: After delving into politics with the HBO movies Game Change and Recount, Jay Roach is turning to religion for his next project at the pay cable network. HBO has put in development drama Our Father, which has Roach set to direct and Zombieland scribes Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick to write. The three will executive produce the show, which falls under a two-year overall deal Roach signed with HBO earlier this year. Our Father centers on one of America’s most powerful pastors who fights to rediscover faith, reconnect with family, and return to dominance in the face of unlikely enemies. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has acquired the action film Cowboy Ninja Viking and has Marc Forster ready to make the graphic novel adaptation his next film. The graphic novel and a Disney-developed script by Zombieland writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese were acquired by Universal after the script came in and was deemed too edgy for Disney’s family film mandate. The intention is to begin production later this year, after Forster completes the Brad Pitt-starrer World War Z for Paramount and Skydance. The hope is to spawn a franchise.
Cowboy Ninja Viking is based on the Image Comics graphic novel by AJ Lieberman and artist Riley Rossmo. The title character comes from a secret government program to turn schizophrenics into assassins. The protagonist comes through the program with the skill sets of a cowboy, ninja and a viking. While most of the patients involved in the program are sent back to insane asylum after the program went awry in Iraq, he escapes and uses his skills to track down the billionaire who masterminded the program. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese are getting the job turning the Hasbro toyline Micronauts into a feature film for JJ Abrams and Paramount Pictures. Along with the prospect of another Transformers film, Micronauts was one of the Hasbro brands mentioned as a priority project in a third quarter earnings conference call for investors today by Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner. Paramount recently made a deal with Hasbro for the property, to be produced by Bad Robot’s Abrams and Bryan Burk and Hasbro’s Goldner and Bennett Schneir. Micronauts marks another big job for a scribe team that had its breakthrough with Zombieland. They followed with G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation, which is now in production with Jon M. Chu directing and Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis joining a returning cast that includes Channing Tatum. The scribes wrote the X-Men spinoff film Deadpool for Fox, which has Ryan Reynolds attached to play the character he originated in Wolverine, and visual effects wiz Tim Miller set to direct. Wernick & Rheese are also adapting the graphic novel Cowboy Ninja Viking for Disney. The scribes are repped by WME.
EXCLUSIVE: Tim Miller, who has done strong visual effects work through his VFX house Blur Films, was just set by 20th Century Fox to make his feature directing debut on X-Men Origins: Deadpool, the X-Men spinoff film expected to star Ryan Reynolds. Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are writing the script and Lauren Shuler Donner is producing.
In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Reynolds made his first appearance as Deadpool, also known as Wade Wilson, a smart-mouthed mercenary with terminal cancer who undergoes military experiments in an attempt to replicate Wolverine’s mutant healing factor. He comes away with the ability to heal quickly, but for the price of being indestructible he is rendered severely scarred. His acerbic attitude remains, though, earning him the nickname “The Merc with a Mouth.” Reynolds will next be seen starring as another superhero, Green Lantern, for Warner Bros.
Fox has the Matthew Vaughn-directed X-Men Origins: First Class coming out June 3. The Wolverine was expected to be the next one in production, but the studio and Hugh Jackman are looking for a new director after Darren Aronofsky fell out. The film could begin shooting in the fall, but that could take longer to get under way.
As for Miller, he created and owns Blur Studio, where he has directed numerous cutting-edge video game trailers. Blur is currently doing all the pre-vis for Ron Howard on The Dark Tower. Miller and Blur were also very involved in the … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: We’re already braced for Cowboys and Aliens, so how cool is it that the writers of Zombieland are taking on the tale of an assassin who mixes the skills of a cowboy with those of the ninja and the viking? Disney has purchased the feature pitch Cowboy Ninja Viking, with Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese writing the script. The basis is the graphic novel by AJ Lieberman and artist Riley Rossmo, published last year by Image Comics. Mark Gordon, Management 360 and Wernick & Reese are producing. A multiple personality disorder patient is trained to be an assassin with three different skill sets and the personalities that come with them tries to bring down the nefarious organization that made him. Wernick & Rheese most recently wrote the script for Deadpool, the X-Men spinoff based on the indestructible wisecracking character played by Ryan Reynolds in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. That script is out to directors. Deal was made by WME.