Studio negotiating for 'The General' with 'Black Swan' helmer attached

Paramount Pictures is in negotiations to acquire “The General,” a George Washington pic with Darren Aronofsky attached to produce and direct from a script by Adam Cooper and Bill Collage.

Par is exclusively eyeing the project under its first-look deal with Aronofsky’s Protozoa Pictures banner. If the studio doesn’t close a deal in the next couple of days, others get a shot — and interest is expected to be high, with Aronofsky coming off the $329 million worldwide gross and awards success of “Black Swan.”

Plot details are being kept under wraps, but sources tell Variety that the script is more of an “Unforgiven”-like tale rather than a straight historical drama. Paramount had no comment on the negotiations.

Helmer is currently casting his Biblical epic “Noah,” which has Russell Crowe set to star as the title character. Aronofsky is also eyeing The Weinstein Co.’s Judy Garland biopic “Get Happy,” which has Anne Hathaway attached to play the “Wizard of Oz” star. It’s unclear whether “The General” or “Get Happy” would serve as the helmer’s follow-up to “Noah.”

Aronofsky, repped by CAA, is involved with several other long-gestating projects including Fox Searchlight’s “Jackie” and Warner Bros.’ sci-fi/drama “Human Nature,” but “The General” is a film that Aronofsky is eager to make.

The WME-repped Cooper and Collage, who share a screenplay credit for the 2006 slacker comedy “Accepted,” also share story credits on “Tower Heist” and have a handful of projects in development, including a “Moby Dick” adaptation and an untitled Moses project.

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