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Interscope pays up to ‘Blast Off’

NEW YORK – Interscope has paid high-six figures against more than $1 million for the spec script “Blast Off,” a big-budget action film scripted by J.D. Shapiro and William A. Dozier.

The script is described as a cross between “Apollo 13” and “Dog Day Afternoon.” It concerns a former NASA scientist trying to rescue a space shuttle stranded in space, but much of the action takes place at Mission Control headquarters, where there’s a hostage situation. The film will be a megabudget effort, and Interscope is hoping to soon reel in an A-list male star to get the film to the launch pad.

The project was brought in by chairman Ted Field, head of production Scott Kroopf and head of acquisitions Michael Helfant. It will be produced by Tom Engelman and Adam Leipzig, with Field and Kroopf executive producing.

“Of all the projects we’ve brought in, this is the big summer-event caliber film that is clever, and which just keeps topping itself,” Kroopf said. Interscope has been building its inventory, with “Gridlock’d” – starring Tupac Shakur and Tim Roth, and directed by “Chicago Hope” star Vondie Curtis Hall – ready for release.

Also, Interscope has attached Robin Williams to the Ron Bass script “What Dreams May Come,” which Interscope is producing with Metafilmics partners Stephen Simon and Barnet Bain; Sylvester Stallone is in talks to star in the adaptation of the David Moorehouse book “Comes the Watcher”; Penelope Spheeris will direct the Timothy Leary biopic “Flashbacks”; and Michael Schiffer (“Crimson Tide”) and Randall Fried are scripting “Blind Faith.”

Shapiro and Dozier, who are repped by ICM’s Nick Reed and Doug Maclaren, previously set up the script “Signed, Sealed and Delivered” at Touchstone.

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