DiPego trio head to ‘Outer Limits’

Sci-fi hit heading to bigscreen

Veteran scripter Gerald DiPego and sons Justin and Zachary have signed a deal with MGM to write a feature based on long-running sci-fi hit “The Outer Limits” in what could become a film franchise.

Pic will be produced by Mark Victor and Michael Grais of Victor/Grais and Pen Densham, Guy McElwaine and John Watson of Trilogy Entertainment Group.

DiPego has been writing for TV and film for three decades, working on such projects as “Phenomenon,” “Message in a Bottle,” “Instinct” and “Angel Eyes.” The three DiPegos previously collaborated on Touchstone script “Out of Time,” and Justin DiPego penned the script for movie of the week “Tempting Fate.”

“Gerald DiPego is an incredibly tal-ented screenwriter,” said Lion produc-tion prexy Michael Gartner. “We’re thrilled to have him working on the project, and we’re equally glad to have his sons on board. They’re a formidable threesome, and we look forward to seeing their script for the first in what promises to be an incredibly exciting series of films.”

The original “Outer Limits” series, which ran in the mid-1960s, was much loved by fans of science fiction and horror. MGM TV and Trilogy revived the franchise three decades later, first on Showtime, then on the Sci-Fi Channel. After seven seasons, it is cable’s longest-running sci-fi anthology show.

Announcement is the latest in a long-running series of MGM efforts to mine its huge TV and movie library for new feature projects. Vice chairman and chief operating officer Chris McGurk, in particular, has emphasized the strategy, and the company is already working on sequels to recent hits “Jeepers Creepers” and “Legally Blonde,” as well as 20th James Bond pic “Die Another Day.” Studio also recently created a unit dedicated to spinning off new projects from existing library, with an emphasis on Broadway musicals.

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