Goldsman fleshes out Warner deal

Producing on fast track

There’s life beyond “Batman” for Akiva Goldsman, who has renegotiated a two-year, first-look deal for his Weed Road Pictures banner at Warner Bros.

Among the projects that the writer-producer will mount at Warners are a bigscreen adaptation of the classic 1970s cop series “Starsky & Hutch” and “Flesh & Ink,” a comic book property to be co-produced with Mel Gibson and Bruce Davey’s Icon Prods.

Goldsman, who produced the Renny Harlin-directed shark thriller “Deep Blue Sea” with Robert Kosberg, Alan Riche and Tony Ludwig, said he plans to accelerate his producing, without pulling back from his screenwriting duties.

“My core business is and always will be writing, so I shall keep my (production) slate very small because I’m equally excited about all my projects,” Goldsman said.

Goldsman, who is probably best known for writing two “Batman” sequels — still WB’s biggest-grossing franchise — has thus far produced “Sea,” and, prior to that, New Line Cinema’s “Lost in Space,” with Carla Fry, Stephen Hopkins and Mark Koch.

His new arrangement at WB encompasses pics for him to produce, not write. Going forward, Weed Road might make one or possibly two pics for WB each year. Projects that the moniker is developing include:

  • “Starsky & Hutch.” A big-screen, modern-day adaptation of the classic L.A. cop show. To be co-produced with Riche and Ludwig;

  • “Flesh and Ink.” Directed by commercials helmer Steve Beck from Goldsman’s screenplay, pic is about a comic book super-hero who comes to life after the death of his creator. To be co-produced with Icon Prods;

  • “Sewer Rats.” Mark Rosner (“The Rock”) is adapting the novel by Rene Maurice about a bank robbery in Nice. To be co-produced with Joel Silver.

  • “Nine Princes in Amber.” Roger Zelazny’s classic fantasy novel, about a prince fighting to gain control of Earth, will be scripted by Ed Newmyer (“Robocop”) and co-produced with Mark Canton;

  • “Shibumi.” Based on the novel by Trevanian about an assassin who aspires to attain a state of enlightenment;

  • “Man Plus.” Classic sci-fi novel by Frederik Pohl that tells the story of how a man is genetically altered in order to sustain life in space. Co-production with Witt-Thomas Films.

In addition, Goldsman will make a foray into the lower-budget arena with the family drama “Deep Water,” based on the novel “Father and Son” by Larry Brown. Michael Fields (“Bright Angel”) will write and direct, and Goldsman will produce with Doro Bacharach.

Goldsman said his strong connection to Warner Bros. stems principally from his relationship with studio production chief Lorenzo di Bonaventura, who, when a creative exec, gave the wannabe scribe his first writing assignment.

“We are very pleased to continue our relationship with Akiva and Weed Road,” di Bonaventura said. “He has brought creativity, a writer’s eye for story content and a practical working knowledge of the filmmaking process to his projects.”

Aside from “Batman Forever” and “Batman and Robin,” Goldsman’s screenwriting credits include “A Time to Kill,” “The Client” and “Practical Magic.”

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