Warners locks Bullock, Fortis into 1st-look pact

NEW YORK — Days after she agreed to star in the Warner Bros. adaptation of the Alice Hoffman novel “Practical Magic,” Sandra Bullock and her Fortis Films have landed at WB in a three-year first-look deal.

WB has had good luck with Bullock, who last worked for the studio in “A Time to Kill.” So as she emerged as the key actress in Hoffman’s darkly comic witchcraft fable, WB presidents Lorenzo Di Bonaventura and Bill Gerber brought her into the fold. In the deal, Fortis becomes a producer in “Practical Magic,” the Denise DiNovi-produced adaptation of the Alice Hoffman novel, which will be directed by Griffin Dunne from a screenplay by Robin Swicord and Akiva Goldsman. At the same time, Bullock has acquired the Matthew Hall novel “The Art of Breaking Glass” as the first property to go into WB development under the new deal.

“Glass” is a dark psychological thriller about a vigilante urban preservationist who engages in guerrilla warfare against urban America. Fortis will also produce “Till Human Voices Wake Us,” a film to be scripted and directed by Michael Petroni. The American Film Institute grad is currently performing the same tasks on the short film “Our Father,” which Fortis is producing.

In confirming the deal, WB co-prexys Di Bonaventura and Gerber said: “Sandra has excellent instincts for finding material and visualizing its transformation into film.” They expected the deal to lead to several Bullock-produced vehicles, some of which she’ll star in.

Bullock’s foray into the producing end of the business began with “Hope Floats,” which the actress just wrapped, working with producer Lynda Obst at Fox 2000. That pic comes out in March. Bullock also wrote and directed the short film “Making Sandwiches,” in which she starred alongside “A Time to Kill” co-star Matthew McConaughey. Bullock’s repped by UTA’s Cynthia Shelton-Droke.

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