Universal adds scribes to Paul Walker action thriller

Universal Pictures has tapped “Paradise Lost” scribes Byron Willinger and Philip de Blasi to rewrite the Paul Walker pic “Skyscraper” for Neal Moritz’s Original Film banner.

“Fast Five” star Walker is attached to topline the action thriller and exec produce alongside Tania Landau. Moritz (“21 Jump Street”) will produce the pic, which is based on an original idea by Mike Sobel, who wrote an earlier draft.

Story follows a group of steelworkers who must rescue Chicago from a mile-high structure that is on the verge of collapsing.

“Skyscraper” is the first project under the new two-year, first-look production pact between Universal and Walker’s production company Laguna Ridge Pictures, which he runs with Brandon Birtell and manager Matt Luber.

Willinger and de Blasi penned “Paradise Lost” for Legendary Pictures, which greenlit the project before shutting it down during pre-production due to concerns about the budget. Bradley Cooper and Benjamin Walker had been set to topline. Scribes also wrote Screen Gems’ crime thriller “The Crossing,” which once had Megan Fox attached to star.

Willinger and de Blasi are repped by Verve and Madhouse Entertainment.

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