Paramount swings at pricey pitch

J.J. Abrams to produce untitled project

In a deal valued close to $2 million, Paramount has acquired an untitled feature pitch from scribes Aline Brosh McKenna and Simon Kinberg.

J.J. Abrams will produce with Bryan Burk through their Bad Robot banner.

Par’s pricey purchase comes at a time when most other studios have shut down development spending for the rest of the year. Paramount got first crack at the material through its first-look deal with Bad Robot, which honed the pitch with the scribes.

Paramount Film Group prexy Adam Goodman and exec veep Marc Evans took it off the table in a deal that closed Friday evening. Sherryl Clark, Bad Robot’s film chief, will exec produce. Lindsay Paulson is an associate producer.

Neither Par nor Bad Robot would disclose the plot, or how the different sensibilities of the writers will mesh.

McKenna is known for female-driven fare including “The Devil Wears Prada,” “27 Dresses” and the upcoming Bad Robot-produced “Morning Glory.” Kinberg has an action-drama sensibility evident in the upcoming “Sherlock Holmes” and such pics as “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” and “X-Men: The Last Stand.”

“These two writers couldn’t be more different, the genres they write seem almost diametrically opposed,’ said Abrams. “But they came to Bad Robot with a pitch that thrilled us. We feel extremely lucky to get to work with this amazing team.”

The two scribes are friends who recently worked together on a production rewrite of Fox’s “Date Night,” starring Steve Carell and Tina Fey.

Bad Robot continues to develop into an increasingly important supplier of pictures for Paramount. Aside from the Roger Michell-directed “Morning Glory” — which stars Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton — Abrams, Burke and Tom Cruise are producing a fourth installment of “Mission: Impossible” that the studio hopes to put into production next year.

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