Disney wins Kelley’s ‘Game’

NEW YORK — Writer David E. Kelley and producing partner Howard Baldwin will share a guaranteed writing-producing payday of nearly $2 million for the hockey spec script “The Game,” which Walt Disney Pictures president David Vogel netted late Wednesday in a preemptive buy, sources said.

Kelley wrote the script and will produce with Baldwin, who owns the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team.

Described as a cross between the Kelley-created “Picket Fences” and the Disney pic “The Mighty Ducks,” “The Game” is the unlikely story of a small Alaskan town whose ice hockey team gets some unexpected publicity and suddenly finds itself in a hockey match against the New York Rangers.

Baldwin produced “From the Hip,” the first script written by Kelley while he was a Boston-based litigator. Baldwin also produced the Jean- Claude Van Damme hockey pic “Sudden Death.” Kelley, whose father, Jack, is Penguins prexy, is hoping for a fall slot for his series creation “The Practice” on Disney’s ABC.

Under his new deal with 20th Century Fox, Kelley also hatched “Ally McBeal,” a new fall series for the Fox Network. Kelley was repped by Endeavor and attorney Michael Gendler of Gendler, Codikow & Carroll, while Baldwin was repped by ICM’s Jack Gilardi.

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