U STAYS IN GAME WITH BIG-BUDGET ‘CRASHDOWN’

After a heated bidding war sparked by 18 pitch meetings over three days, a potentially big-budgeted project called “Crashdown” landed at Universal Pictures June 8 for producer Charles Gordon and his Daybreak Prods.

Craig Randelman and Michael Berlly – two scriveners whose previous sales include the specs “Soft Kill” for Arnold Kopelson and “Coup d’Etat” for TriStar – sold their latest pitch for an estimated $275,000 against $600,000. Fox and Savoy were in the hunt for the “Clear and Present Danger”-type thriller whose dramatic action centers around the recovery of a UFO.

The buy marks Universal’s continuing commitment to acquire and make big-budget event pictures, despite a recent perception of a production slowdown due to its overbudget “Waterworld” and the sale of the company to Seagram. The studio’s Sylvester Stallone starrer “Daylight,” budgeted in the $70 million range, is the most costly pic to be greenlit since “Waterworld.”

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