EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures is setting Edgar Wright to direct Grasshopper Jungle, the acclaimed Andrew Smith YA novel that is being adapted by Beautiful Girls scribe Scott Rosenberg. Rosenberg is producing with Amazing Spider-Man‘s Matt Tolmach and they will be joined by Nira Park, who is at the center of all Wright’s films. Wright, you’ll remember, recently squashed his participation in Ant-Man, the Marvel Studios film that has Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas still starring, because he and Marvel clashed over visions for the wannabe franchise. Wright is staying in insect mode, but moved onto a project that suits his sci-fi sensibility and teams him with Rosenberg, as distinctive a dialogue writer as Wright is a visual director of popcorn films.
Wright’s importance here at Comic-Con wasn’t lost on me yesterday as I walked among the throng and noticed that right between the two men holding the bright yellow signs reminding us we should repent and are going to hell, a guy held an equally bold sign on a wooden stake that read “Edgar Wright Was Right.” Whether that was for him sticking to his guns on his version of Ant-Man or something else, the filmmaker is beloved here. I’ve seen him speak in years past at Marvel panels as the difficult visual effects that will shrink Ant-Man were being harnessed, and last year he was here vamping The World’s End, the alien-attacks-pub-crawlers film that was the third in the Cornetto Trilogy he made with Nick Frost and Simon Pegg.
Grasshopper Jungle, which is best described as Stand By Me meets Attack The Block, seems right in Wright’s wheelhouse. It’s a coming-of-age story that focuses on an Iowa teen trying to come to grips with his own raging hormones and sexual feelings as he and his cohorts cause a deadly genetically engineered plague that unleashes an army of 6-foot-tall praying mantises. Those bugs live the life these guys wish for, acting on an insatiable appetite for fighting, food, and fornicating. Read More »
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.