FilmNation, Lava Bear, 21 Laps to produce sci-fi thriller
21 Laps’ Shawn Levy and Dan Levine with FilmNation’s Aaron Ryder and Karen Lunder. Lava Bear’s David Linde, Tory Metzger, FilmNation’s Glen Basner and Eric Heisserer will exec produce. FilmNation and Lava Bear will finance, produce and handle worldwide sales. Heisserer is adapting Ted Chiang’s short story in which aliens land around the globe and a linguist is recruited by the U.S. government in a race to decipher the intentions of the aliens on Earth. Chiang’s story was the winner of the 2000 Nebula Award for best novella. Producers said Tursday the project is being fast-tracked with casting to commence immediately and a view to start shooting next year. “Story of Your Life” was developed by Levy, Levine, Cohen and Heisserer. The project was brought in to FilmNation by Patrick Chu. Heisserer’s credits include “Hours,” “The Thing” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” FilmNation’s production slate includes Jeff Nichols’ “Mud,” which premiered in competition at Cannes, Mark Tonderai’s “House at the End of the Street” and Dan Beers’ “Premature.” Lava Bear is in pre-production on David Michod’s “The Rover,” starring Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson. 21 Laps is in post-production on “The Internship,” which Levy directed for Fox, and the independent coming-of-age story “The Spectacular Now,” directed by James Ponsoldt. The deal for “Story of Your Life” was brokered on behalf of Lava Bear by David Boyle and on behalf of FilmNation by Alison Cohen. Heisserer is repped by UTA, Julie Bloom of Artwork Entertainment and attorney Marcy Morris. WME reps 21 Laps and Mathieu.