Columbia Pictures has acquired the script-in-progress “Burnout” for director John Singleton and producer Michael Cieply, sources said Thursday.
The project, being written by Tony Peckham, is on the studio’s development fast track and will be a co-production of Cieply’s Byline Films and Singleton’s New Deal Prods.
Cieply and Singleton will produce the film, which could go into production by late fall.
The deal — hammered out by Peckham’s agent, Lucy Stille of Paradigm, marks the first project that Col has acquired for Cieply and his production banner, founded last November. The project was sold on what sources said was about “half a script and a pitch.”
Singleton, who has an exclusive production deal at Columbia and whose “Poetic Justice” opens this summer, has several projects to which he’s attached. But Dwight Williams, New Deal’s head of development, said “Burnout” is the top candidate to be Singleton’s next directing project.
“This is the prime one right now,” said Williams, who will also receive an as-yet-undetermined producing credit on the film. “This is at the top of the list.”
“Burnout” is the story of an ex-government operative who, while trying to get back to living a normal life, is forced back into action.
Asked about Singleton’s interest in the project, Williams said, “John was looking for something different. The thing that interested him in the piece was it was a strongly driven character action piece. It’s not just action, it’s a blend of several genres.”
A Columbia spokesman declined to comment on the acquisition of the project.