WB, West hoist a ‘Black Flag’

Studio nabs pirate yarn, with West to helm

Scribes Christian Gudegast and Paul Scheuring (“El Diablo”) have sold their spec script “Black Flag” to Warner Bros., with Simon West (“Lara Croft: Tomb Raider”) attached to direct. Deal, worth high-six against low-seven figures, includes a commitment for a second pic, for which writers will be paid an additional high-six against low-seven-figure sum.

West will produce “Black Flag” along with producing partner Jib Polhemus via their Wychwood Prods. banner. Scheuring and Gudegast will serve as exec producers.

Scribes brought the project to Wychwood as an initial pitch, which they then developed with Wychwood into a spec screenplay that West and Polheimus took to Warner Bros.

WB exec VP of production Jeff Robinov will oversee the project for the studio.

Set in the Indian Ocean in the 17th century, the epic story centers on a former British Royal Navy officer who becomes unjustly marooned for participating in a justifiable mutiny with a rival officer and friend who then turns against him. Left for dead, the marooned officer becomes a pirate.

“We are excited about working with Simon given his proven track record on making pictures of an epic scale,” Scheuring said.

“Ever since I was a child I have been obsessed with classic high seas adventure films. For some time now, I have been looking for a story that reinvents the genre,” West said. “When Christian and Paul approached us with ‘Black Flag,’ I knew this was the one. It wasn’t the swashbuckling, men-in-tights version of yesteryear but a realistic, less idealized version. Warner Bros. is the perfect home for this and I hope with their help we can show this generation a neglected genre.”

The scribes, repped by Endeavor, penned “El Diablo” and are writing an original script for New Line. They have also written “Mexicali,” set up at Sony’s Screen Gems, and “Skeleton Coast,” set up at Par-based Icon Prods., with John Frankenheimer attached to direct.

Endeavor-repped West has directed such as “Tomb Raider,” “The General’s Daughter” and “Con Air.”

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