NEW YORK — RIFKIN PACTS TRIO: After Adam Rifkin wrote “Mouse Hunt” and a draft of “Small Soldiers” that mobilized DreamWorks to move toward production, the studio has nabbed the scribe with a three-picture deal worth $3 million. Rifkin will direct the first of the three films he writes for DreamWorks. While he works on that deal, he’s also laboring to set up “The Accidental Killer,” one of the better-known Hollywood script treatments after the current Mondo Hollywood issue of Details magazine devoted 32 pages to it.
Rifkin’s William Morris agents Alan Gasmer and Joanne Wiles is shopping “The Accidental Killer,” about a failed actor who becomes famous as a murderer. “Killing gives him the confidence he lacked and he becomes a star, leaving the killing behind — until he’s asked to play the killer in a movie and plays the role too well,” said Rifkin.
Rifkin said they’re still deciding on the first DreamWorks project, but that he will direct it and produce with manager Brad Wyman under their newly formed Blump Intl. banner. The second script is “Rock Stars Don’t Take Finals,” the story of two medical school students whose plan to study all night for a big test goes awry when they bandage a rock superstar and are essentially kidnapped by the grateful patient. He’ll write it with Steve Bing.
“Several years ago, we had the same experience, when Sam Kinison and his maniacal entourage took a liking to us and wouldn’t let us escape,” he said. “We had to run across the Burbank airfield to escape his private plane bound for Ohio for a concert he was late for.”
The third will be closest in spirit to “Mouse Hunt.” “A bad guy wants to take over the world, using the minds of children tainted through eating a hypnotic breakfast cereal,” he said. “The kids turn against their parents and the cereal is so addictive that soon everybody’s under its spell. In my version of ‘The Seven Samurai,’ the only seven who can undo this are Tony the Tiger, Toucan Sam, Captain Crunch, the Lucky Charms Leprechaun, the Trix Rabbit, Quisp and Sugar Bear.” Rifkin called it a cross between “Toy Story” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” and promised cameos from Count Chocula and King Vitamin. “It’ll appeal to kids and the nostalgia of adults, just the way ‘Toy Story’ did by creating new characters mixed with the old brand-name toys.”
WANG, BLUM PACT AT POLYGRAM: “Joy Luck Club” director Wayne Wang has sparked to Howard Blum’s Vanity Fair article “Dragon Fire.” Wang’s set it up at Propaganda with producers Lawrence Turman and John Morrissey. The rights deal could be worth mid-six figures if the film’s produced.
The article’s about an undercover U.S. government operation that finds generals in mainland China are selling automatic weapons to youth gangs in the San Francisco area. Before the agents can pounce, the White House throws political blockades in their way.
For Blum, that makes three straight VF article sales. His article about the murder of heiress Helen Brach was optioned by Jerry Bruckheimer, and “Gold of Exodus,” Blum’s Simon & Schuster book that was just excerpted in Vanity Fair, is being scripted for Castle Rock, with Wolfgang Petersen attached. Blum’s deal was made by CAA’s Bob Bookman.
GALECKI’S HYPHENATE QUEST: The scripting success of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s “Good Will Hunting” is proving infectious. Johnny Galecki, who has graduated from “Roseanne” to teen roles in such films as “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” has set up “Snollygoster,” a college tale he wrote with Chris Kletzien. Bandeira Entertainment bought the script, which is fashioned as a star vehicle for Galecki. Shooting is expected to start this summer, with Kevin Duffy producing and Bandeira’s Beau Flynn and Stefan Simchowitz exec producing with Galecki’s manager, Booh Schut.
Galecki will next be seen opposite Christopher Walken and Denis Leary in “Suicide Kings” for Live Entertainment, and in Sony Picture Classics’ “The Opposite of Sex” with Christina Ricci and Lisa Kudrow. UTA’s Charlie Ferraro and attorney Steve Warren repped the writers.