Neufeld to produce for Par
In what may be the biggest rewrite deal of the new year, Columbia Pictures has plunked down $1.3 million for prolific scribe Scott Rosenberg to rewrite … himself.On the strength of his meeting with top Columbia brass Monday, Rosenberg (“Con Air,” “Gone in 60 Seconds,”) will be rewriting his own original 1992 adaptation of the Michael Connelly detective novel “Black Ice” for Paramount-based producer Mace Neufeld. “Ice” is part of a series of popular books that includes “The Concrete Blonde,” “Black Echo” and “The Last Coyote.” Though the scribe hasn’t put pen to paper yet and those involved say no talks are being held, such helmers as Oliver Stone, John Frankenheimer and Steven Soderbergh are already understood to be at the top of the studio’s wish list. In an interesting twist that is becoming more common as development and production costs rise, “Black Ice” will likely be a co-production between Columbia and Paramount, which owns the rights to “Black Echo.” Under terms of the arrangement between the two studios, Columbia will compile and submit the creative elements, as well as the eventual talent, for Par approval. Should Par find the elements agreeable, the studios would split grosses from domestic and foreign equally. Should they prove unacceptable, however, Col has the right to proceed alone, or with another partner. The same split of studio spoils that applies to Rosenberg’s “Ice” would also hold true for franchise precursor “Black Echo,” written by “Silence of the Lambs” scribe Ted Tally for Paramount and Sony. The backend for Rosenberg was not disclosed, but it is said to be very rich. The scribe, who worked on “Gone in 60 Seconds” for Jerry Bruckheimer at Disney and co-wrote “High Fidelity” for producers Tim Bevin and Rudd Simmons also at the Mouse House, should have little trouble locating the “Ice” draft, since Neufeld assigned it to him eight years ago. Project is being supervised by Col exec VP Amy Baer. ICM’s Barbara Dreyfus made Rosenberg’s deal. “Ice’s” storyline finds LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch amid the drug-trafficking underworlds of inner-city L.A. and the interior of Mexico. When Bosch uncovers what appears to be his partner in a sleazy motel, dead of an apparent suicide, he begins to investigate — only to find it may not have been a suicide, and that the body may not even have been his partner. Connelly’s latest novel, “Void Moon,” (which is not in the Harry Bosch series) was just rolled out by Little, Brown.