Studio buys Shane and Carey Van Dyke spec script

New Line’s getting into business with Dick Van Dyke’s grandsons, purchasing spec script “The Watching Hour” from Shane & Carey Van Dyke.

Michael Connolly is producing through his Mad Hatter Entertainment along with Mary Parent and her company Disruption Entertainment. Parent, former head of MGM’s production, formed Disruption and signed a first-look deal at Paramount earlier this year.

Former New Line and MGM exec Cale Boyter will also serve in some producer capacity.

A handful of studios and independent financiers were circling “Watching,” but New Line made a pre-emptive offer and and took it off the table.

Plot details are under wraps other than being described as a horror franchise with sci-fi elements. It’s the first spec sale for the Van Dykes, who also have “Amber Alert” being packaged with Nelson McCormick attached to direct.

Connolly most recently co-produced “How to Train Your Dragon” and is prepping the sequel. He’s also producing “Harker,” a re-imagining of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula,” at Warner Bros. with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way and the King Arthur origin story “Pendragon” with New Regency.

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