Universal Pictures optioned Steve Breen’s picture book Unicorn Executions and attached Dodgeball‘s Rawson Thurber. Scott Stuber will produce through his Bluegrass Films banner, and Saturday Night Live writer Simon Rich will pen the script. The book will be published in May by Skyhorse.
EXCLUSIVE: Hot off co-writing Trance for director Danny Boyle, Joe Ahearne has sold an untitled supernatural thriller pitch to Warner Bros. Dan Lin will produce under his Lin Pictures banner. Lin’s veep Jon Silk came up with an idea they are keeping under wraps and Ahearne expanded it before they pitched it to the studio and came away with a deal. Silk will be co-producer and WB’s Matt Cherniss is overseeing it. It’s the British writer’s second deal with Warner Bros, which recently hired him to rewrite Elf Quest for Rawson Thurber to direct. Thurber wrote the original draft. Ahearne will write Elf Quest and start the new pitch at the same time.
Trance, which stars James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel and Rosario Dawson, is currently in production in London. Boyle will complete the shoot, then put it down to focus on directing the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. He’ll then pick Trance back up and complete the picture. Ahearne, who wrote the feature script with John Hodge, wrote and directed the 2001 BBC telepic that Trance is based on. Ahearne also created the British vampire miniseries Ultraviolet that starred Idris Elba and Stephen Moyer, and Apparitions. He’s repped by ICM and Principal Entertainment, as well as UK-based United Agents.
Dodgeball director Rawson Thurber is rewriting The Umbrella Academy for Universal Pictures, based on the 2008 Eisner Award-winning Dark Horse comic written by My Chemical Romance singer Gerard Way. Mark Bomback wrote the first draft.
The comic revolves around an adopted dysfunctional family of superheroes with bizarre powers who are brought together by a mentor. As children, they defeat the Eiffel Tower when it’s turned into a laser-spewing structure by a zombie robot. In later installments of the comic, the kids disband but reunite as adults after their mentor is killed.
It’s the second Dark Horse property at Universal, which will begin production on RIPD in September. Dark Horse’s Mike Richardson will produce with Scott Stuber and his Stuber Films banner. Pam Abdy will oversee the project for Stuber and also produce. The author and Dark Horse’s Keith Goldberg are executive producers. Thurber’s repped by CAA.