The Friends of the USC Libraries is the org that bestows the annual Scripter Award honoring the year’s best adapted screenplay and the author of the original work on which it is based. It also is giving Robert Towne the 2014 USC Libraries Literary Achievement Award. Both honors will be bestowed February 8. LA native Towne is best known for penning the original script for Chinatown, which won him an Oscar in 1975. His adapted screenplay credits though include John Fante’s Ask The Dust, Daniel Ponicsan’s The Last Detail and Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Greystoke: The Legend Of Tarzan. He also was the script doctor who polished Bonnie And Clyde, The Godfather and Heaven Can Wait among others. He recently was recruited to join the writing staff for the upcoming seventh and final season of AMC’s Mad Men.
EXCLUSIVE: Rand Holston is leaving CAA, the talent agency where he spent the last 28 years. I’m hearing this might be one of several exits to take place over the next three weeks. The agency confirmed that Holston is leaving. I’m told he is meeting with other agencies, and he will land at one of them before year’s end. His longtime writer and director clients include Stephen King, Rob Reiner, Wolfgang Petersen, Robert Towne, John Moore, Marshall Herskovitz, Jordan Kerner, Ed Zwick, Jim Ivory, Bruce Robinson and Jon Avnet.
Graham King’s GK Films has hired Robert Towne to write The Battle Of Britain, a script about the largest and most sustained air battle to date. King and Tim Headington will produce. In 1940, the Royal Air Force battled the German Luftwaffe for control of British airspace over the city of London, which ultimately prevented a Nazi invasion of Britain. For King, it was a courageous battle his father told him about when he was growing up.
“My father lived in London and watched this spectacular dog fight over the city, so bringing this story of endurance and triumph to the big screen means a great deal to me,” King said in a statement. “I am also extremely excited to be joining forces with the iconic Robert Towne who is a master of mixing complex characters and tremendously compelling plots. Robert has a passion for history and a shared love of this particular story.” Towne most recently wrote the miniseries Pompeii for Scott Free and HBO, and he is currently writing Compadra, an hourlong pilot for Scott Free/FX/Fox 21. Next up for him is Next Of Kin for David Fincher, Sam Raimi and Josh Donen at Sony.
GK Films is next up with the Martin Scorsese-directed Hugo.