Focus Features has picked up an untitled feature spec by Amy Welsh, who most recently was supervising producer on the ABC Family series Bunheads, and who has written on sitcoms from Roseanne to It’s Like You Know and Men Behaving Badly. They are keeping the logline under wraps. JC Spink, Jake Weiner, and Chris Bender are producing for Benderspink, which recently exec produced Ride Along and Hangover 3, and produced We’re The Millers and the just-wrapped Horrible Bosses 2. Welsh is repped by ICM Partners.
Joe Burke & Kevin Oestenstad Sell ‘Stolen’ Spec To Shankar & Silna’s 1984 Private Defense Contractors
EXCLUSIVE: Joe Burke and Kevin Oestenstad’s spec script Stolen has found a home with 1984 Private Defense Contractors, the indie production outfit founded by Adi Shankar and Spencer Silna. The script from newcomers Burke and Oestenstad follows a young couple from the city, Josh and Allison, whose short trip turns into a rural nightmare when Allison steps out of a quiet local movie theater to answer her phone and never returns. So much for rewarding polite movie theater etiquette. With only a dying phone and a road map, a panicked Josh runs into dead end after dead end and must choose between abandoning his hunt for the love of his life or fighting the bloody battle that awaits on the gravel road that separates them. It’s a major sale for the duo. Burke, an AFI alumnus who’s directed a number of shorts and brought his first feature Four Dogs to this year’s LA Film Fest, has also directed episodes of Adult Swim‘s Newsreaders and is repped by APA, Principato-Young Entertainment and Stone Meyer & Genow, LLP. Oestenstad wrote, directed, and starred in the Western short Made Bed and has racked up acting credits in film and TV projects including Fox Searchlight’s My Name Is Khan. He’s repped by APA and ESA. Meanwhile, 1984 Private …
EXCLUSIVE: 20th Century Fox has acquired the spec From Mia With Love, a John Hughes-style comedy written by Seth Grahame-Smith, David Katzenberg, Bryan Shukoff and Kevin Chesley. Katzenberg will direct, and he and Grahame-Smith will produce under their Katsmith Productions banner. Grahame-Smith adapted his novel Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, which is being directed for the studio by Timur Bekmambetov and produced by Tim Burton.
The coming-of-age comedy is a mix of Risky Business and Weird Science. Some plot elements could change, but the pitched premise had three guys so desperate to lose their virginity that they order up a Russian mail-order bride, figuring they can send her back. She is smoking hot but arrives with baggage and no plans to bed the lads, though she helps the trio become more suitable mating material.
Katzenberg’s directing experience includes episodes of The Hard Times Of R.J. Berger, the MTV show the duo exec produce. Deal comes as Grahame-Smith, who also authored Pride And Prejudice And Zombies and scripted Dark Shadows, works on his next novel. The concept is under wraps, but it is his first book under a three-book deal with Grand Central, and he will write the movie script simultaneously. The four scribes are repped by WME; Shukoff and Chesley are additionally repped by Madhouse Entertainment.
Dimension Films has preemptively purchased the spec script The Greys, a sci-fi thriller by scribe Adam Cohen that Before the Fall helmer F. Javier Gutierrez will direct. Sean and Bryan Furst are producing. Logline’s being kept under wraps.
Universal Pictures has acquired the John Phillips spec script Dirty Grandpa, for Barry Josephson to produce. ICM made the deal for Phillips, a young writer out of New York. Script’s about a recently widowed older man who gets to know his grandson who is about to marry a girl who is not right for him.