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MTV Films buys ‘The Wood’ spec

MTV Films on Monday acquired Rick Famuyiwa’s spec script “The Wood” for a low six figures against mid-six figures price.

Famuyiwa, a 24-year-old USC graduate who still rides his bike to work at the Beverly Hills Niketown, is attached to direct.

The coming-of-age story follows three middle-class African-American kids growing up in Inglewood, from their pre-teen years to adulthood.

Based on Famuyiwa’s own experiences, the script was developed at the Sundance Institute’s screenwriters and directors labs, which he attended in June.

Famuyiwa’s 1995 basketball short “Blacktop Lingo” screened at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival. But it took the Sundance Institute’s Michelle Satter months to track down the young filmmaker — who still has no phone and is reachable only by beeper — to invite him to apply to the labs.

Bona Fide Prods.’ Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa became aware of the project at a Sundance script reading at L.A.’s Jazz Bakery last May. The pair then brought “The Wood” to MTV.

Berger and Yerxa will produce along with MTV president David Gale. Berger, Yerxa, Gale and Keith Samples are currently producing MTV’s Matthew Broderick-Reese Witherspoon starrer “Election.”

Famuyiwa recently signed with agents at Endeavor, who negotiated the deal.

MTV is based on the Paramount lot and has a first-look deal with the studio.

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