HOLLYWOOD — In a deal valued at mid-six figures, DreamWorks Pictures has acquired “Moist,” the as-yet-unpublished first novel from screenwriter Mark Haskell Smith.
A deal is imminent for helmer Barry Sonnenfeld to both produce and direct the screenplay, to be penned by Smith.
The darkly comic novel is headed to publishers soon, with Gotham-based lit agent Mary Evans also acting as its editor.
“Moist” concerns a morgue attendant whose grisly task of transporting a severed limb to the L.A. County Coroner takes a wild turn when the head of L.A.’s Mexican Mafia, to whom it belongs, comes looking for it.
“Moist” revisits familiar turf for Smith, who last chronicled the L.A. criminal underworld in the 1997 David Duchovny starrer “Playing God.”
Separately, Smith is also penning “Gangland” for producer Jon Peters, and the baseball comedy “The Unnatural” for Universal Pictures.
DreamWorks-based producers Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen will produce with Sonnenfeld, and the studio’s theatrical production exec Mark Sourian will oversee the pic’s development.
Smith is repped by Endeavor and managed by Concrete Entertainment.