What recession? In the past two days, 20th Century Fox has stockpiled two projects for studio-based Davis Entertainment to produce.
On Thursday, Fox acquired “The Mob Squad,” based on an article in the April issue of Details magazine written by Tim Struby. Struby could receive a healthy six-figure sum if the film gets made.
Fox and Davis Entertainment inked a mid-six-figure deal with Don Rhymer to pen the screenplay, a comedy about the spoiled son of an infamous New York City mobster who is forced to get his first legitimate job after his father is sent up river.
Mitchell Peck, who controlled the rights to Struby’s article, will produce along with Davis topper John Davis.
On Wednesday, “The Mob” looked likely to land at DreamWorks with Brett Ratner’s Rat Entertainment attached to produce, but Fox managed to snatch away the project with a larger counter offer early Thursday.
Fox exec VP Sanford Panitch brought the project into the Tom Rothman-led division.
Chris Bender and J.C. Spink, of the budding management-production banner Bender-Spink, went out with the material and repped both Struby and Peck on the deal.
Davis and Rhymer also recently teamed on “Loud and Clear,” the scribe’s comedy spec that DreamWorks picked up last month. Woody Allen is attached to star in the project about a white sports announcer whose world is turned upside down when he is paired with an irreverent black commentator.
Rhymer is repped by the Gersh Agency’s Ken Neisser and Sandra Lucchesi.
The spawn of Mafiosos could be inspiration for a new era of the gangster pic. In addition to “Mob Squad,” Warner Bros. and Outlaw Prods. are developing a project based on Mike McAlary’s New York magazine piece, “Hoodfellas: The New Generation of Mall-Rat Mobsters,” to which Leonardo DiCaprio is attached to star. Project is a drama about a group of lawless teens who considered themselves untouchable because their fathers were mobsters, though now either dead or serving time.
Less than a day before Fox nabbed “The Mob Squad,” the studio picked up “Twice Upon a Time,” a comedy spec by Robbie Fox (“So I Married an Axe Murderer”), also for Davis to produce.
The comedy/romance tells the story of a 60-year-old man whose life hasn’t turned out to be what he had planned. Depressed and close to suicide, he is mystically transported back in time, where he meets himself at 30, the age he believes things first went astray.
It’s understood that Fox is viewing the project as a potential teaming of Adam Sandler and Dustin Hoffman, but, if neither of those thesps is interested, the studio might consider having one actor play the man at both age-markers.
Project is one of the first brought into the studio by new vice president of production Josie Rosen.
Fox is repped by the Agency for the Performing Arts.
Davis’ exec VP, Wyck Godfrey, brought both “The Mob Squad” and “Twice Upon a Time” into the company and will oversee their development.