Producer Wendy Finerman has set up the romantic drama “The Betty Schimmel Story” at DreamWorks, sources said. The project will be written by Greg Poirer, who previously scripted the John Singleton-directed “Rosewood” and the comedy “Gossip,” which Joel Schumacher has plans to direct.
Film is the story of Betty Schimmel and her teenage boyfriend who pledged their love on a Budapest bridge during the Holocaust and are subsequently separated by the war. After the war, she desperately looks for him with no success.
She goes on with her life, moves to New York, gets married and has a family. Years later, she returns to Budapest with her teenage daughter. On the vacation, she thinks she sees her long lost love in a restaurant. That night, unbeknownst to one another, each returns to bridge and they reunite.
Paramount was previously looking at setting up the project before it landed at DreamWorks. Finerman’s senior VP of production Margaret French-Isaac brought the project to the company and will serve as executive producer. DreamWorks’ Nina Jacobson negotiated with Isaac to set up the project.
“I was meeting with Poirer to pitch him something else and he mentioned the story to me that he couldn’t stop thinking about, and then it was like some contagious thing,” said Jacobson. “It really got under my skin, and I think it was because it was this very intimate consideration of love and war and what each of those can do to the other.”
Agi Orsi will serve as co-producer. Orsi initially relayed Schimmel’s story to agent Dan Ostroff who, in turn, told French-Isaac.
Finerman’s deal was negotiated by Craig Jacobson. Poirer’s deal was negotiated by ICM’s Jeff Robinov and attorney Tom Hansen.