EXCLUSIVE: Universal has acquired Demonologist, a novel manuscript by Andrew Pyper. The book will be sold at auction shortly, but most important the film project will be produced by ImageMovers partners Robert Zemeckis, Jack Rapke and Steve Starkey. The studio made a preemptive deal for rights to the manuscript. The plot: When a professor who studies Paradise Lost accepts a free trip to Italy, a demonic spirit appears to kill his daughter, and he must go on a dark journey of discovery in hopes of getting her back. Pyper is repped by UTA and Toronto-based Anne McDermid & Associates.
Deadline revealed a couple of weeks ago that Robert Zemeckis was dropping out of the Warner Bros drama Replay so he could direct Denzel Washington in the Paramount thriller Flight. Paramount just made that move official today:
HOLLYWOOD, CA (September 9, 2011) — Paramount Pictures announced today that Academy Award ® winner Denzel Washington will star, and Academy Award ® winning director Robert Zemeckis will helm, FLIGHT for the studio. Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald will produce under the Parkes/MacDonald production banner along with Zemeckis, Steve Starkey, and Jack Rapke under their ImageMovers banner. The movie is set to begin shooting this October in Atlanta, GA.
Paul Greengrass In ‘Fear Index,’ Robert Zemeckis Out Of ‘Replay’ As He Takes ‘Flight’ With Denzel Washington
Back in June, Deadline revealed that Fox 2000 had acquired the Robert Harris thriller novel Fear Index, about a scientist who uses a revolutionary system of computer algorithms to trade on the volatility of the world’s financial markets. His hedge fund is wildly successful until he is targeted by an intruder who breaks into his home. At the time, I’d heard that Paul Greengrass was attached to direct, and his reps at CAA denied it. I wrote it anyway. Now, Harris has said in an interview for his soon to be published book that Greengrass is indeed going to direct and the filmmaker’s reps are now acknowledging it’s true. The novel will be published next month in the UK and January in the US. Chernin Entertainment’s Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark and Jenno Topping are the producers. and Harris is scripting it. Greengrass next directs the Somali pirate pic A Captain’s Duty with Tom Hanks starring for Sony Pictures.
Robert Zemeckis has officially dropped out of the Warner Bros drama Replay, and the studio is trying to put the Jason Smilovic-scripted film back together with another filmmaker. Zemeckis exited because he has finally committed to direct Denzel Washington in the Paramount thriller Flight.
EXCLUSIVE: Disney doesn’t release Real Steel until Oct. 7, but already DreamWorks is getting the machinery moving on a sequel to the Shawn Levy-directed drama that stars Hugh Jackman. I’m told the studio has commissioned John Gatins, who scripted the first film, to start on the second installment. It’s unusual to see that occur so early, but I can recall it happening when Warner Bros commissioned a Hangover sequel after early tests showed the movie was going to be a big hit. Development on the sequel’s just getting under way, and deals will have to be made with Jackman and Levy. Gatins is repped by UTA.
DreamWorks has gotten strong response to internal screenings of the film, and at a CinemaCon presentation of footage in Las Vegas. The film is a Rocky-meets-Transformers tale of a prize fighter whose pugilistic skills are rendered obsolete when human boxers are replaced by robots. The fighter (Jackman) becomes a boxing promoter and finds a discarded robot that wins and wins. The fighter also discovers he has a 13-year old son, who comes along for the ride as the robot heads toward the top against scary competition.
A video making its way around today offers up a great walk down memory lane. Can you imagine anyone else except Michael J. Fox starring in Back to the Future? Well, Eric Stoltz was the original choice but was recast 5 weeks into the film’s production. The clip below features Steven Spielberg, Robert …