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Warner Bros Mobilizing Colombia Hostage Drama ‘The Mission,’ Courting David O Russell And Brad Pitt

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: In the wake of Osama Bin Laden’s killing by a Navy SEAL team, Hollywood is suddenly obsessed with politically-charged fact-based mission movies. Momentum is building on one of those at Warner Bros, The Mission. David O Russell is circling the picture and the studio is courting Brad Pitt to star. This could all happen very quickly.

The picture is basically the methodical six-year mission planned by American and Colombian covert operatives to free 15 hostages from the Colombian jungle. The hostages included three Americans and Ingrid Betancourt, once a candidate for President of Colombia. The script is by Peter Landesman. Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Scott Z. Burns will produce with McLarty Media, the showbiz consulting arm of D.C.-based international advisory firm McLarty Associates.

The hostages were held by the Colombian guerilla group FARC from between six and 15 years. It was a nightmarish existence as the hostages were moved around the jungles, often cruelly chained to trees at night by their necks. The central focus of the film isn’t the ordeal of those hostages but rather on Operacion Jaque, a covert effort involving numerous governments, diplomats and intelligence services and a vast network of spies, military advisers and soldiers plus high-tech surveillance measures. Nobody would confirm that Pitt was at all involved, and I’m not sure he’ll be set, but I am convinced they are talking. Read More »

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‘Green Lantern’ Scribe Lights The Way Into Comics For Other Screenwriters

Mike Fleming

Green Lantern co-writer Marc Guggenheim is at Comic-Con today. He’s launching Collider Entertainment, a partnership with Alisa Tager that is designed to create properties that start out as comics and then springboard onto other  media platforms. Guggenheim and Tager have experience in everything from TV to films, video games and comic books. Their company gets off the ground with a deal with Image Comics that begins with two titles.

Guggenheim has written the first title, Utopian, with his screenwriter wife Tara Butters. The first installment of the five-comic series will be published in November. It takes place in a world where superheroes are rendered obsolete when war, famine and crime disappear. One hero investigates the source of the new-found tranquility but his colleagues oppose his efforts to return the world to its normal chaos.

Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber, the scripters of Red and Battleship, are generating the second title, and is a few shades darker. The Mission is a supernatural thriller about a man who receives instructions from the angel Gabriel to commit murders. Is he crazy or answering a divine call?

Aside from teaming with Greg Berlanti and Michael Green to write Green Lantern, Guggenheim is currently a consulting producer on the ABC Michael Chiklis series No Ordinary Family and has had a long career writing and producing series. He has earned his fanboy cred writing nearly 100 comics, including Amazing Spider-Man, Wolverine, Superman/Batman, Blade and Young X-Men. He even adapted … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: Roland Joffe’s ‘There Be Dragons’

By | Thursday July 22, 2010 @ 7:02pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Roland Joffe is back the volatile political terrain he covered in films like The Mission and The Killing Fields. It’s There Be Dragons. Producer Ignacio Sancha said the film takes place during the Spanish Civil War. A journalist who looks back on the volatile conflict uncovers his father’s violent role. Joffe helped finance the film, and he and Sancha (who used his banking background) raised the funding to cover the budget, as well as P&A for a spring 2011 release. They are in talks with distributors right now.

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