Par preps for ‘War’ by Scott

Once again confirming that Paramount Pictures is ramping up its development and production slate, the studio has purchased the action-adventure spec script “Pancho’s War” for Ridley Scott, who is committed to direct the film, it was confirmed yesterday.

“Pancho’s War,” written by Marcel Montecino from a story by Montecino and David Balkan, will be produced by Scott’s Percy Main Prods., which has a first-look development deal at Par.

Although Paramount exex would not disclose financial terms of the deal–hammered out by Montecino and Balkan’s agents, Creative Artists’ Robert Bookman and Martin Spencer–sources said the deal was an outright sale and not an option deal.

Par production VP Robert Jaffe was also instrumental in putting the package together, sources said.

Par production prexy John Goldwyn said “Pancho’s War” is on “a very fast track,” meaning the studio would like to get it into production sometime next summer for a release in summer 1994.

Described by Goldwyn as “a cross between the Sergio Leone westerns and the ‘Lethal Weapon’ films,””Pancho’s War” is about a munitions expert sent to the Mexican border to deliver guns to Gen. Pershing in the 1916 Mexican Revolution.

According to Goldwyn, he was handed the script on noon Monday and by early afternoon the studio had put a firm offer on the table.

“It was Ridley’s unbridled enthusiasm that got me exhilarated,” Goldwyn said. “He really wants to make this film.”

Scott was not available for comment.

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