Universal Pictures, taking aim at TriStar Pictures, is putting together a “SWAT” team of its own.
The studio has set up “Special Weapons” — a feature about the LAPD cops who set up the first armed Special Weapons and Tactics force — with Imagine Entertainment, Gregg Davis and Eric Feig producing.
Pic goes head to head with TriStar, which had “SWAT” in pre-production under director Marcus Nispel before he was dropped from the project. TriStar’s pic, which has been offered to Oliver Stone to helm, is based loosely on the TV series with a new script by Ron Mita and Jim McClain.
Universal’s decision to move forward with the Imagine project is particularly noteworthy because U prexy of production Marc Platt and co-president of production Stacey Snider left TriStar to move to Universal last year.
Universal purchased the rights to the lives of several of the original SWAT team members, as well as a treatment by Rob Healy and Scott Wartham.
Nick Falacci and Cheryl Heuton have been hired to pen the screenplay, which will be about the SWAT founders and their self-imposed training methods that included spending their own time and money developing homemade bulletproof vests, jerry-rigged armored vehicles and hostage negotiation tactics.
One source termed the project ” ‘The Right Stuff’ with cops.”
Imagine development exec Julie Glucksman brought the pic into the company.
U exec VP of production Kevin Misher will oversee it for the studio.
Producers Davis and Feig are currently in pre-production on “Instinct” for Mandalay Entertainment.
Feig and Imagine have worked before with Stephen Carpenter’s “The Other Man.” Feig’s pact was brokered by attorney Matt Johnson of Greenberg, Glusker, Fields.
Davis recently set up “Inside Out” with Richard Donner at Polygram. His deal was handled by attorney Steven Goldfisher.
The deal for Falacci and Cheryl Heuton was brokered by agent Caren Bohrman of the Bohrman Agency.