'Incandescent' follows Edison-Tesla clash
Andrew Meieran’s Bureau of Moving Pictures has hired scribes for three projects, including “Incandescent,” the story of the Edison-Tesla battle over their rival systems of electrical current.The second focuses on the Burke-Hare mass murders in Scotland, and the third, to be penned by “Party of Five” co-creator Chris Keyser, revolves around a winning lottery ticket not purchased. The trio are part of the Bureau’s growing pipeline of projects — shingle now has more than a dozen in varying stages of development, with its first production, “Big Eyes,” expected to lense early next year (Daily Variety, Oct. 16). Jonathan Feldman is penning “Incandescent,” a story that hits especially close to home for Meieran, a financier who transformed an old Edison boiler room into an L.A. nightclub of the same name. Meieran describes the clash between Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison over the best way to transmit electricity as “the greatest industrial competition that has ever been seen.” Tesla developed the alternating current, or AC, method, while Thomas Edison backed direct current, or DC, and although Tesla’s version turned out to be better, Edison is far better known today. “It was a collision of egos,” Meieran said. “Edison was not such a nice guy, which we will show in the movie.” Dan Halsted, who manages all three scribes, also is producing “Incandescent.” Feldman recently wrote “Capa,” a biography of photographer Robert Capa, for Irish Dreamtime’s Beau St. Clair. Playwright Danny Goldfarb (“Modern Orthodox”) is penning the second project about William Burke and William Hare, 19th century serial killers in Edinburgh who sold their victims to a medical school for dissection. “It will be the darkest of dark comedies,” Meieran said. “It’s ‘Fargo’ meets ‘Arsenic and Old Lace.’ ” “Lottery” centers on a group that has been buying lottery tickets for more than 15 years; their numbers finally come in but the person in charge of buying their tickets forgot to purchase them this time around. When the group can’t find him, they suspect he’s taken off with the $300 million jackpot. That project, Meieran says, will have an “It’s a Wonderful Life” feel. Bureau of Moving Pictures, co-run by Matt Tabak, was trying to mount Naomi Watts starrer “We Are All the Same” as a pre-strike movie, but scribe Keir Pearson (“Hotel Rwanda”) needs to return to South Africa for more research, so it won’t make that window.