With new Clint Eastwood and Jodie Foster-driven vehicles on the front burner, Warner Bros.-based Lee Rich Prods. is banking on recent Oscar victors to fuel its active production slate.
Though Dylan Sellers will soon leave his production prexy slot at Lee Rich Prods. to become exec VP of production at 20th Century Fox, he is shepherding several already initiated pix. A replacement will be announced shortly at the company started by Rich, the one-time chairman and CEO of MGM/UA and 17-year prexy of Lorimar Prods.
The romantic saga “Henry in Love” was recently acquired for an undisclosed amount by Rich Prods.to star Eastwood. Brian Hohfeld’s original script is the story of a man who marries a much younger woman. No helmer or co-star has been set for the future WB release.
Another Eastwood project slated for WB distribution is “Paradise Junction,” which Michael Cimino is adapting from Philip Finch’s book.
It’s about a tough, working-class guy who gets recruited into a criminal scheme by a bunch of yuppies, but turns the tables on them. Sources said it has not been decided if Eastwood will also helm the project, which the Oscar winner’s Malpaso and Rich Prods. acquired together.
Foster will star in an untitled project scripted by Jesse Nelson and rewritten by Scott Spencer, the true story of a woman who uses dolphins to treat autistic children. So far, no helmer has been attached to this WB property. “Just Cause,” starring Sean Connery, is a WB project about a journalist who frees a death row inmate only to discover he’s guilty. Connery then tracks down the baddie to redeem himself. This Arnold Glimcher-helmed thriller is set to shoot in Florida next January.
Among the active projects already set up at Fox to start off Sellers’ new tenure is “Shock Corridor,” a remake of the Sam Fuller film about a reporter who goes underground at a mental institution to investigate a crime, only to find he cannot escape.
This Seth Flicker-scripted drama is co-produced by Fox’s Paul Schiff and Lee Rich. Replicating what Paramount and BV did with the Andes cannibal pic “Alive,” Fox and BV will jointly distribute “Corridor.”
Over at Paramount, Rich Prods.’ racial drama “Cypress Hills” (formerly “Shoal Creek”) hopes to tee off in the near future. “Hills,” which Universal put into turnaround, depicts an all-white southern golf club that needs to admit a token black member to get their coveted Pro Golf Assn. privileges.
Written by Mark Steven Johnson, who also penned WB’s upcoming Jack Lemmon-Walter Matthau pic “Grumpy Old Men,””Hills” is still casting for the lead role.
Johnson also wrote “Big Bullies,” which Rich recently acquired for WB. In it, a high school functionary is revisited by his version of hell when the bully who tormented him 25 years ago is hired by their alma mater as a gym teacher.
In the spirit of satirical pix like “National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon 1” and “Hot Shots,” the WB project “Single White Family” spoofs all the uninvited intruder pix with rapacious cops, psycho nannies and homicidal roomies.
Formerly titled “Housewarming,””Family” was penned by Pat Pritchard and Andy Dobay, and rewritten by Steve Oderkerk. The script is out to directors.
Also being developed for WB is an untitled Mitchell Kapner-penned comedy about a Manhattan couple who make a living as cutthroat divorce lawyers. Things go awry when two star clients decide to get back together, forcing the dishonest attorney duo to keep the suit going.
Another farmed-out Rich project is the Touchstone pic “Queen Pins,” an Emily Hofsteder-penned story of how four female bowlers circa 1970 get a lane of their own and deal with crucial issues in their lives at a Queens, N.Y., bowling tournament.
Rich Prods. also just acquired the thriller “20 Minutes” from Steven Leather’s original script. Sources describe the future WB vehicle as “Die Hard” in a Las Vegas casino, where a psycho bomber threatens to blow the action sky-high. No helmer has been set.
At Paramount, the thriller “Nightmare on Alcatraz” is going ahead full steam. This story by Lawrence D. Cohen (who also penned the adaptations of Steven King’s “Carrie” and “Tommyknockers”) finds a group of college students spending the night on Alcatraz, where something unexpected awaits them.
In an earlier development stage at Rich Prods. is the Carol Dreschler-scripted “She’s the Boss,” a battle of the sexes set in the world of Gotham magazine journalism. The project is slated for WB.
At Fox, the Vincent McKewin-penned “Florida Straits” is a fish-out-of-water story of the illegitimate son of a prominent mob member who can’t get respect in New York and goes to Florida to start his own racket.
Lee Rich’s recent credits include the Wesley Snipes-starrer “Passenger 57” and the Steven Seagal actioner “Hard to Kill.” He is currently exec producing the NBC dramatic series “Against the Grain.”