‘U-571’s’ Ayer sells ‘Squids’

Indelible Pictures inks first major buy

Art Linson and David Fincher’s Indelible Pictures, which three months ago hung its shingle at New Line, has made its first major purchase in “Squids” from “U-571” scribe David Ayer.

If the movie gets made, Ayer will be paid $1.5 million regardless of his credit on the pic. Producing will be Linson and Fincher, the team behind “The Fight Club” who in December inked a three-year, first-look deal with New Line. Fincher is expected to sign to direct. (The helmer is in talks to do “Panic Room” at Sony, starring Nicole Kidman,” though no deal has closed.)

Loosely based on Ayer’s experiences as a Marine, “Squids” is a coming-of-age story set on a nuclear submarine during the waning days of the Cold War.

“David is one of the freshest and most daring young screenwriters in Hollywood and we are thrilled to be working with him,” Linson said.

Ayer plans to complete “Squids” this summer, with the studio hoping to begin production early next year. New Line’s Lynn Harris, exec veep of production, will oversee the project along with New Line prexy Michael De Luca.

“This is the kind of material we were hoping to develop when we made our production commitment to Indelible Pictures,” De Luca said. “While we always wanted to be in business with Art and David, a big part of the allure was taking advantage of the relationships they had with people like David Alper. The dividends are paying off faster than we thought and we couldn’t be more pleased.”

Ayer — considered by many as an A-list writer — penned “Training Day,” set up at Warner Bros. with Denzel Washington attached to star.

New Line’s exec veep of business affairs, David Alper, negotiated the deal on behalf of the studio. Ayer is repped by Todd Feldman at ICM; his attorney is David Weber of Bloom, Hergott, Cook, Deimer and Klein.

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