Having ankled his post as prexy of the Source Entertainment, Mike Elliot has now inked a low- against mid-six figure deal for his spec “Brown Sugar” at Fox Searchlight.
The studio is in negotiations with helmer Rick Famuyiwa to direct the pic. Famuyiwa’s “The Wood,” about coming of age in Inglewood, Calif., yielded an impressive $25.1 million for Paramount last year.
“Brown Sugar” is a romantic comedy described as a black “When Harry Met Sally,” according to one insider. Set against the world of hip-hop music, “Sugar” follows a romance that blossoms between two urban professionals, one an A&R man for a hip-hop label, the other a magazine editor who’s been his friend since childhood.
Peter Heller (“Caught Up,” “Bones”) will produce, and ex-hoopster Magic Johnson (“Passing Glory”) will handle exec producing chores.
Searchlight’s Josh Deighton brought the project to the attention of Fox Searchlight topper Peter Rice. Deighton will oversee the pic for the studio, which has put the project on a fast track for production.
While heading the Source Entertainment since January 1999, Elliot has been working steadily as a screenwriter. Acquisition marks Elliot’s fifth spec sale in two years. His screenwriting credits also include “Seven Days,” set up at 20th Century Fox; “Winner’s Out,” which sold to Eriq La Salle’s Warner Bros.-based Humble Journey Films; “The Bricklayer,” which sold to Artisan; and “Carmen Brown” at MTV Networks.
Besides securing a multiyear deal for the Source Hip-Hop Music Awards at UPN, he also helped develop two hip-hop series, both of which will bow in October: “The Source Sound Lab” on UPN and “The Source: All Access” in syndication.
Famuyiwa is repped by Endeavor; Elliot is repped by Writers & Artists Agency and attorney Matt Johnson of Ziffren, Bricenham & Fischer and is managed by Bender/Spink Management.