WB acquires ‘Maelstrom,’ looks for windfall

First-time screenwriter Greg Fitzpatrick has sold his “Maelstrom” screenplay to Warner Bros. for an estimated $ 225,000 against $ 625,000, sources said.

Although the project did not sell for as much as some had predicted — the sale price was below $ 1 million –“Maelstrom” still charts as one of the top recent sales for a spec script from a first-time screenwriter.

International Creative Management newcomer Jeff Robinov and international packaging agent Ken Kamens orchestrated the sale.

Inventory move

Creative executives widely viewed Warner’s purchase of “Maelstrom” as an inventory move designed to ensure that the studio has a stockpile of action scripts for such established male stars as Steven Seagal, Sylvester Stallone and Clint Eastwood.

Hot property

Widely described as “Diehard” in a hurricane, “Maelstrom” was touted as a hot property by Robinov for several weeks before he sent the screenplay out to Hollywood producers and studios.

“Maelstrom” centers on a federal agent who is charged with protecting a woman from her husband — a powerful crime boss who has taken a contract out on her life to prevent her from testifying against him. The crime boss hunts them when he discovers their location, just as a hurricane hits.

Warner reportedly outbid TriStar Pictures and Paramount Pictures for the property. Producers of “Maelstrom” are Melinda Jason and Gary W. Goldstein, who executive produced “Under Siege.”

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