×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Meyjes deal cues ‘Lindbergh’ rev-up

Spielberg pic based on Berg book

Bringing the high-profile project out of the hangar and back onto the tarmac, DreamWorks and principal Steven Spielberg have tapped Menno Meyjes to adapt “Lindbergh,” A. Scott Berg’s Pulitzer Prize-winning bio of Charles A. Lindbergh.

Meyjes, who scripted “The Color Purple” for Spielberg, will write the screenplay as a directing outing for the Oscar-winning helmer.

While it is still expected that Spielberg will next helm Tom Cruise in “Minority Report” for Fox/DreamWorks, a greenlight is pending Scott Frank’s draft of the screenplay, which is due imminently.

That pic had been expected to start production in January, but was delayed due to ironing out the script and waiting for star Tom Cruise to be free from the marathon shoot of “Mission: Impossible II.” If all parties accept the script, “Minority” could go before the cameras in late February or early March.

Whether it actually begins shooting early in 2000, Spielberg spokesman Marvin Levy said, “depends on everything being in place, on everyone’s schedule being in place. But they’re well down the line on all of that.”

It’s understood that Spielberg would then turn to the film version of “Memoirs of a Geisha” for Columbia before embarking on “Lindbergh.”

But again, there is no set date for “Geisha,” which is well into development and was always viewed as a holiday release. However, the chances of it being a Christmas 2000 release appear extremely thin.

Levy added that no consideration would be given to a start date for the Lindbergh biopic “until there’s a script that everyone says, ‘OK, that’s it.’ ”

Nevertheless, he said, the Lindbergh project “certainly is something that’s very much in active development, as evidenced by the fact that they brought in another writer.”

“Steven has done films back-to-back before. It’s not inconceivable that he could do it right after ‘Minority.’ ”

Paul Attanasio signed on to adapt the bio soon after DreamWorks purchased the rights to Berg’s nearly completed book sight-unseen. Attanasio later dropped out without penning a draft.

While “Lindbergh” had been put on the back burner after Attanasio’s departure and as Spielberg turned his attention to other projects, the biopic became an open writing assignment in the summer, with Meyjes and Spielberg choosing to reunite earlier this month.

It had been rumored that Spielberg had cooled on the project after reading about the famed flier’s anti-Semitism, but last year, the director told Daily Variety’s Army Archerd that he would take on Lindbergh, warts and all.

“Once you commit to do a biography on an icon of a century, you have to be unflinching, you have to flesh out the entire story — and from (Lindbergh’s wife) Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s point of view — and not from Lindbergh the man,” Spielberg said at the time (Daily Variety, Nov. 11, 1998). He added: “It will be objective without bias of any kind. I’m not trying to put him on a pedestal or to tear him down. It’s an honest story about his life.”

Though Spielberg directed Meyjes’ adaptation of “Color Purple” in 1985 (Meyjes also was credited on the Spielberg-helmed “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” in 1989), the helmer was drawn back to Meyjes after reading his screenplay “Hoffman,” a study of the relationship between a young Adolph Hitler and the Jewish art teacher who failed to encourage the future Nazi leader’s artistic abilities — a premise that has been adopted as one reason Hitler turned to politics and genocide instead of focusing on art.

Meyjes is looking to set up “Hoffman,” to which he is attached to direct. His other credits include Fox’s 1998 release “The Siege.”

Meyjes’ deal was brokered by ICM’s Ken Kamins and Jeff Gorin.

More Film

  • SF Studios Acquires Norwegian Production Company

    SF Studios Acquires Norwegian Production Company Paradox

    SF Studios has acquired Paradox, the well-established Scandinavian company behind Erik Poppe’s “U-July 22,” to launch Norwegian production operations. SF Studios, which will be celebrating its centenary next year, has up until now focused on the production of feature films and drama series in Sweden and Denmark. The company also boasts distribution operations in Norway [...]

  • Osopez Pitches Toon Adult comedy 'Pleasefixers'

    Animation!: Costa Rica's Osopez Pitches 'The Pleasefixers'

    Costa Rican animation studio Osopez is developing 3D CGI black comedy series “The Pleasefixers,” its most ambitious project to date, which has been selected for pitching at Ventana Sur’s 3rd Animation! showcase. Co-created by Osopez’s Ariel Arburola and Carlos Redondo, the 12-episode, 23-minute TV show targets young adults and adults, aged 18-34. “Pleasefixers” follows a [...]

  • ‘The Goalkeeper’s’ Gory Patiño Teams With

    ‘The Goalkeeper’s’ Gory Patiño Teams with Luis Reneo on ‘Pseudo’

    Bolivia’s Gory Patiño, writer-director for his country’s Academy Award submission “The Goalkeeper” – also the highest grossing Bolivian film in 15 years – and his frequent filmmaking partner, Spain’s Luis Reneo, are participating in this year’s Ventana Sur films in progress section with their socio-political thriller “Pseudo.” The project was also selected as a finalist [...]

  • Roy Ashton

    Ventana Sur: The Gersh Agency’s Roy Ashton Talks Pitching 101

    BUENOS AIRES — Roy Ashton, responsible for packaging and selling projects to markets and operators such as Amazon for Hollywood’s The Gersh Agency, spoke to a standing-room-only crowd about the process of pitching successfully to the U.S. market ahead of a script workshop he attended Tuesday afternoon. Ashton emphasized the draw of storytelling on an international [...]

  • Ainbo

    Ventana Sur: CMG Pre-Sells ‘Ainbo’ to Over Half the World (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — Marking what looks very much like a new record for animation in Latin America, Edward Noeltner’s Cinema Management Group, the sales company behind Oscar-nominated “Loving Vincent,” has pre-sold “Ainbo – Spirit of the Amazon” to over half the planet. “Ainbo” was picked up by CMG in January 2017 off the first edition [...]

  • Breaking Glass Picks Up Romantic Drama

    Ventana Sur: Breaking Glass Picks up Threesome Drama ‘We Are Three’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Breaking Glass Pictures has clinched North American rights to Argentine helmer-scribe Marcelo Briem Stamm’s ménage-a-trois drama “We Are Three,” (“Somos Tr3s”), which it first spotted at the Buenos Aires’ 2017 Ventana Sur. Breaking Glass CEO Rich Wolff and Ida Martins of Media Luna New Films closed the deal at this year’s Ventana Sur. The film’s [...]

  • Chile’s Powerful Producers Assn. Aims For

    Ventana Sur: Chile’s Producers Look to Take Industry to Next Level

    BUENOS AIRES — Oscar-winning Chilean producer Juan de Dios Larraín (“A Fantastic Woman”), Sebastián Freund, co-creator of Chile’s biggest ever B.O. hit, “Stefan vs. Kramer,” and Gabriela Sandoval, co-director of Sanfic, Chile’s biggest film event, Sanfic festival, are joining forces to haul Chile’s much vaunted cinema into the 21st century. They will be joined by [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content