Winston, D’Works team for ‘Hell Bent’

NEW YORK — Special effects wizard Stan Winston and DreamWorks have made a deal for Ben Schwartz’s script “Hell Bent,” which Winston will direct. The deal was in the low six figures.

The project is described as a fantasy comedy about a loathsome tobacco exec whose wife can’t stand him and who markets smokes to kiddies. When he’s pushed from a windowsill to his death, he keeps going downward.

Upon reaching hell, he’s hailed as an overachiever — a man who shows real promise toward becoming a top executive under CEO Satan. His test: return to his life, and corrupt an innocent soul within seven days. It turns out to be a woman under his employ, and he begins to have misgivings about sentencing her to a hellish eternity.

Winston, whose f/x credits include such films as “Jurassic Park,” “Terminator 2” and “Aliens” as well as the talking frogs in the Budweiser commercials campaign, previously directed “Pumpkinhead,” “A Gnome Named Gnorm” and the 40-minute Michael Jackson video “Ghost.”

Brian Gilbert, veep of Stan Winston Prods., made the deal with DreamWorks’ Glen Williamson and Original Artists partners Jordan Bayer and Matt Leipzig, who repped the writer. Winston chose the property for the special effects opportunities.

Schwartz previously scripted “Furious George” at Warner Bros., and writes comics for Marvel and DC, along with satirical copy on a Web site called Suck.

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