EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures just closed a deal for Grasshopper Jungle, the just-published Dutton YA novel by Andrew Smith. Scott Rosenberg brought in the project and is negotiating to adapt it for producer Matt Tolmach. It’s perhaps best described as Stand By Me meets Attack The Block, a coming-of-age yarn revolving around a teenager in Iowa trying to come to grips with his own sexual feelings as he and his cohorts cause a deadly genetically engineered plague that unleashes an army of 6-foot-tall praying mantises with an insatiable appetite for fighting, food, and fornicating.
Michael De Luca and Elizabeth Cantillon steered the deal for Sony. De Luca just started at the studio but he also brought in the $1 million spec Winter’s Knight last weekend. Rosenberg is best known for scripting such films as Beautiful Girls, Con Air and High Fidelity and who most recently rewrote Heist for Steve Zaillian and Steven Spielberg at DreamWorks for Scott Waugh to direct. Paradigm’s Dana Spector brokered the book deal for Michael Bourret of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. WME reps Rosenberg.
Ross Lincoln and Jen Yamato are Deadline contributors.
2ND UPDATE, 8:15 PM: After Chris Beall’s confirmation that he has been removed from his position at Platinum Studios, Deadline spoke by phone to both Beall and Scott Rosenberg for additional comment. Beall for his part remains adamant that Rosenberg’s tenure atop Platinum has been defined by mismanagement, reiterating in particular his claim that the transfer of a controlling share of Platinum Studios stocks was unethical because, he alleges, it is “an entity that Scott does have an ownership stake in.” Rosenberg disputes those claims without reservation, and speaking exclusively to Deadline, he said “I do not control Rip at all, and that’s from any legal standpoint, as anyone who would want to look at SEC records, accounting records, all legal avenues one can see, I do not control Rip.” Deadline has been told that further comment on the matter by Rip Media will follow.
1ST UPDATE, 3 PM: Platinum Studios‘ Chris Beall received a legal letter from the company saying he was voted out as president and director — the morning of an investors call that was to address Beall’s move earlier in the week to oust CEO Scott Rosenberg. The letter, dated yesterday at 10:45 AM, confirms that a majority share of the company’s shareholders had voted Beall out. (Beall alleges that 790 million of the voting shares owned by Rip Media were illegitimately transferred by Rosenberg before the shake-up.) The board reconstitution left Rosenberg and Glenn Eggert as the only remaining directors, with Rosenberg named as the company’s Chairman, CEO, President, Secretary, CFO, and Treasurer. The vote came after Beall issued a letter of suspension to Rosenberg on Monday (read that one here) and sent an email (read it here) to investors and board members outlining the reasons for his actions. He set up a call for yesterday at 7 PM but neither Beall or Rosenberg were on it.
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EXCLUSIVE: The CW is boosting its sci-fi cred with Oxygen, an alien drama in the vein of District 9. It hails from Space Floor TV’s Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenberg and Olé’s Richard Shepard, Sean Furst and Bryan Furst.
Written by Meredith Averill (The Good Wife) based on a format developed by Daniel Gutman of Pow Wow and Spanish producer Isla Producciones, Oxygen follows a high school pilot program, the first attempt to integrate a group of humanoid aliens stranded on earth who until now have been living in forced segregation. The program is complicated by the prejudices and competing agendas on all sides, and could be saved or destroyed by a burgeoning romance between a human girl and alien boy. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Disney has just closed a seven-figure pitch deal for an untitled action comedy pitch by Scott Rosenberg. Several studios were bidding. John Jacobs is producing. They’re keeping the plot under wraps. Rosenberg’s most recent spec, Hauntrepeneur, sold to Paramount with Platinum Dunes producing, Russell Brand attached to star and Rob Letterman to direct. Rosenberg just did a production rewrite on the Michael Bay-directed Pain And Gain for Paramount, currently shooting with Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson. Rosenberg recently did a rewrite for Disney’s Life For Sale, which Andrew Panay is producing. WME brokered the deal.
Jacobs’ Smart Entertainment will produce, with Zac Unterman executive producer. Smart produced the Seth MacFarlane-directed comedy Ted for Universal and MRC.