Apocalyptic spec script could start bidding war

Roland Emmerich is ready to wreak havoc on the planet, and once again, multiple studios are vying to go along for the ride.

CAA is shopping “2012,” an apocalyptic spec script written by Emmerich and Harald Kloser, who collaborated on “10,000 B.C.,” the prehistoric epic that Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures releases March 7.

Studio toppers read the script Tuesday, and indications are that nearly all of them were interested enough to meet with Emmerich and reps Wednesday to hear his budget projection and creative aspirations. After that, studios will bid on what is essentially a greenlit film, one that Emmerich intends to direct next and have ready for a summer 2009 release, barring a prolonged Screen Actors Guild strike.

Emmerich has sold several of his tentpole projects in spec auctions that came with production budgets and release dates, something that was done with “Independence Day” and “The Day After Tomorrow.” Both of those films were purchased by 20th Century Fox and turned into global hits for the studio.

According to sources, Emmerich’s latest project has more going for it than the big idea that studios love. Studios are hungry for fresh material after the writers strike, and getting the chance to round out a 2009 slate with an Emmerich-directed extravaganza will be a tempting proposition.

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