Kopelson ascends to ’34th Floor’

Kopelson Entertainment has optioned the action-thriller spec “34th Floor” by first-time scribes Peter Dowling and Randal Flynn. Arnold Kopelson will produce with tyro producers Paul Kewley and Robert Di Nozzi taking on co-producing chores.

Kopelson optioned the project from his own discretionary fund — endowed through his exclusive production pact with 20th Century Fox — after it was brought to the company by Scott Strauss, VP of creative affairs.

Script tells the story of a female FBI agent who heads the agency’s witness protection program. She must navigate the clever schemes cooked up by a band of bad guys in order to seize the real identities of the people she protects. Story details the lengths the villains go to carry out their plan.

MGM also was a bidder for the project, written by Dowling — a former animator in Europe who came to the U.S. via a Fulbright scholarship funded by writer-thesp John Cleese — and Flynn, his writing partner and fellow Brit. “34th Floor” marks the first screenplay the duo has set up at a U.S. studio.

The writing twosome also have teamed with producers Kewley and Di Nozzi on the action road movie “Overdrive,” which they soon will endeavor to set up.

Kewley is another Fulbright scholar and recent USC Stark producing program grad, and Di Nozzi is currently enrolled in the Stark program. The two are also attached to produce “Eva,” by Scotsman Mark Forrest, about a Jewish, female journalist who falls in love with a member of the German neo-Nazi movement, which she has infiltrated in the course of her work.

And they’re developing “Cryonic” by Curt Cressler, a dark, “Frankenstein”-like comedy about a corporate titan who emerges as a marauding beast after being cryonically frozen upon his death.

Dowling, Flynn, Kewling and Di Nozzi were repped on the deal by agent Emile Gladstone of Broder, Kurland, Webb & Uffner and attorney Eric J. Feig of Berton & Donaldson.

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