Cinema Line Films has completed the preemptive purchase of “Leviticus War,” the latest in a series of high-profile acquisitions for the aggressive start-up production company.
Described as “Little Big Man” meets “Mad Max,” and written by hot Hollywood scribes John Rice and Rudy Gaines, the story’s premise has the Indian nations 50 years in the future take control of the arid Midwestern United States and succeed in bringing what has become a desert region back to life. Seeing that it has made a mistake, the U.S. government decides to seize the land from the Indians, sparking an Indian and cavalry war.
Cinema Line purchased the property based on a 32-page first act, which was accompanied by a “beat-by-beat” pitch of the second and third acts, according to company president, Steve Randall.
Randall said the project is tailor-made “for one of the big action directors because it is such a unique premise that would allow the director to construct the hardware and world as they see it.” He said the project will go out to directors immediately.
The upfront figure for “Leviticus War” could not be confirmed, but the writers will earn $ 650,000 if the script is made into a movie.
Brokering the deal for writers Rice and Gaines were literary agent Sandra Lucchesi of Susan Smith and Associates and attorney Mark Gochman at the law firm Greenberg, Glusker, Fields, Claman & Machtinger.
Rice and Gaines have been hot lately. The two have a screenplay based on the Lewis and Clark expedition at Warner Bros. and a deal with Eddie Murphy and Trilogy Prods. at Paramount Pictures.
In addition, Rice is one of the writers on director Stephen Hopkins’ “Blown Away,” which starts production in mid-August with stars Jeff Bridges and Tommy Lee Jones for MGM/UA, and is working on Morgan Creek’s “Chasers.”
The purchase is the latest in a string of acquisitions for Cinema Line, which is underwritten by fashion entrepreneur Leonard Rabinowitz, designer Carole Little and Verna Harrah. The company has been one of Hollywood’s most aggressive buyers lately.
Formerly executive veepee of worldwide production at TriStar Pictures, Randall joined the company in December and has since completed deals for such screenplays as “Things Happen,””Ghosthunter” and Mary Higgins Clark’s novel “All Around the Town.”
During his studio days, Randall was involved with “Glory,””Bugsy,””The Fisher King,””Sleepless in Seattle” and the current project “Legends of the Fall.”