Director under new three-year first-look deal
McG is taking his film cans to Warner Bros. — where he already has a TV deal — under a new three-year first-look deal.He has set up three directing projects for his Wonderland Sound and Vision shingle under the deal: “Nightcrawlers,” an action comedy about a neurotic father who must face childhood monsters; a spy pic to be produced by Basil Iwanyk; and “Yucatan,” a heist drama the late Steve McQueen was developing as a star vehicle. McG said the new deal was an outgrowth of the relationship he developed with Warners while directing “We Are Marshall,” which the studio released last year. Previously, he had a film deal at Sony, where he made the two “Charlie’s Angels” pics. McG admits Wonderland’s longstanding TV deal at the studio made the decision to shift his film deal there that much easier. “We decided to put it all under one roof under the tutelage of (Warner Bros. Entertainment chairman-CEO) Barry Meyer,” McG said. Wonderland plans to produce three pics a year for the studio, with one also a directing project for McG. He said Wonderland will seek young talent for film, as it has done in TV with the likes of “The OC” creator Josh Schwartz and its star, Adam Brody. The shingle will remain based in the West Hollywood building that once housed SAG. The producer-director enthused about working with writer Michael Arndt (who last penned “Little Miss Sunshine”) on “Nightcrawlers,” which he describes as “our ‘Men in Black.’ ” Project, which Warner bought seven years ago, has had several writers before Arndt. At one point, Breck Eisner was mentioned as a director. McG is now producing with Benderspink, which brought the project to the studio in the first place (Daily Variety, June 27, 2000). Phil Alden Robinson is rewriting the script for the spy project, and “Prison Break” scribe Paul Scheuring was hired two years ago to pen “Yucatan.” “Yucatan” will be based on recently discovered notes and storyboards by McQueen. Story revolves around hunters in the Yucatan peninsula. David Heyman is producing along with McG. McQueen’s son Chad and godson Lance Sloane are exec producing. McG earned his directing stripes on Columbia’s 2000 bigscreen adaptation of “Charlie’s Angels.” Known for his ebullience, and his dislike of travel, he was up for directing duties on Warners’ “Superman Returns” but bowed out due to the production’s reliance on overseas locations, paving the way for Bryan Singer. He had a mixed run at Col. The “Charlie’s Angels” pics did well, but several other projects, including “Hot Wheels,” failed to get off the ground. Indeed, McG enthused about getting projects into production under the new deal. “I’m happy to be over at Warner Bros.,” he said. Wonderland’s TV projects include “Supernatural,” “Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll” and “Chuck,” the latest project from Schwartz, creator of “The OC.”
Want Entertainment News First? Sign up for Variety Alerts and Newsletters!