Phase 1 picks up epic pitch

Joe Wizan and Don Schneider’s Phase 1 Prods. has acquired an untitled historical epic based on a pitch by scribe Bruce C. McKenna.

Set in the 16th century, the story revolves around a Roman nobleman who falls in love with the daughter of a Celtic warlord.

The project was brought to Phase 1’s VP of creative affairs, Kristine Schwarz, by writer-director Tim Metcalfe, who will serve as exec producer. Schwarz and Metcalfe previously teamed on “Kalifornia,” which he wrote and she co-produced.

The deal marks McKenna’s third pitch sale this year, following “Chaos,” a political thriller set up at Spelling Films and Trilogy Entertainment, and a World War II romance set up at Working Title Films. McKenna will begin writing for Phase 1 after he completes work on those two projects.

He also co-wrote the book, “The Pena Files,” which chronicled the cases of a real private investigator. The tome, published by Regan Books/Harper Collins, was optioned by 20th Century Fox Television for development into a one-hour series.

In addition to the “Kalifornia” screenplay, Metcalfe’s credits include the prison drama “Killer: A Journal of Murder,” which he wrote and directed. Metcalfe also teamed with Adam Simon to co-write Mandalay’s “Instinct,” which is scheduled to begin lensing in September.

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