Sources said Monday that Julie Talen’s spec screenplay “A Tale of Two Brides” has been optioned by Columbia Pictures.
Though Col reps kept mum on the deal, sources said prolific producer Ronald Bass is also edging close to completing a deal for “Brides” and will jointly produce the project with Doug Wick.
Bass’ deal is expected to close by the end of the month.
Terms of the spec deal were not available, though sources tagged Talen’s part of the transaction at $ 200,000 against $ 550,000 pending finalization.
“Two Brides” is an ensemble piece about a group of sisters whose tranquil lives are brought into sudden, sharp focus when a gay sister announces her impending marriage to another woman at the same time a straight sister tells the family about hers.
Involvement of Bass and Wick on the project indicates that Columbia has A-list aspirations for the property. Wick’s latest Columbia project is the Michelle Pfeiffer/Jack Nicholson-starrer “Wolf.”
Sources said Columbia Pictures president of production Lisa Henson and executive VP of production Amy Pascal are looking to develop the female-driven movie as a way for new themes and cutting-edge characters to break through into the mainstream. The two executives were the primary champions of the project at the studio.
Insiders said the studio’s approach to the topic of same-sex marriage would be standard romantic comedy, as opposed to somber, political and issue-oriented. “It must be an entertainment first,” said one.
Bass will produce the finished script through Columbia-based producer Doug Wick’s Redwagon Prods., with Talen attached as co-producer.
Talen’s agent, United Talent Agency’s David J. Kanter, who repped Talen and Wick in this deal, powwowed with Columbia execs last week. Talen’s manager, Melinda Jason, and Bass’ rep from Creative Artists Agency were also involved.