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Gems locks in ‘Armored’

Simpson script earned a finalist slot for writing fellowship

Screen Gems has acquired “Armored,” a spec script by tyro James V. Simpson. Feature will be produced by Buckaroo Entertainment partners Sam Raimi and Josh Donen and Dan Farah of Farah Films.

Deal came within hours of news that Simpson’s script had earned him a finalist slot for the Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowship. Scribe hails from New Westminster, British Columbia.

Drama centers around a young armored car guard who’s persuaded by his veteran cohorts to empty the truck of its $10 million haul.

Columbia and Screen Gems execs sparked to the project (Donen and “Spider-Man” helmer Raimi are based at Col). Col execs Doug Belgrad and Sam Dickerman were instrumental in helping Screen Gems prexy Clint Culpepper and exec Eric Paquette make the deal.

Screen Gems and Columbia regularly swap projects; “Identity” originated at Screen Gems but was made by Col; Columbia gave “Prom Night” and “Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid” to Screen Gems. Execs decided that “Armored” would better fit Screen Gems as the budget falls into Screen Gems parameters.

Chris Lemos and Luis Guerrero are co-exec producers.

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