After an extended search for a screenwriter, Will Smith’s Universal-based Overbrook Entertainment has enlisted Geoff Rodkey to adapt the Bryan Burrough-penned novel “Dragon Heart.”
Rodkey will receive a mid-against high figure.
“Dragon,” retitled “Star City” after more than a year in development at Overbrook, tells the story of NASA’s ill-fated involvement with the Russian space station, Mir. It is said to be written in the vein of Burrough’s earlier novel, “Barbarians at the Gate,” a political satire. By hiring Rodkey, Overbrook and Universal appear to be putting this project on the fast track.
Rodkey — a Harvard graduate who wrote for the Harvard Lampoon — served as a staff writer on Bill Maher’s “Politically Incorrect,” where he was nominated for an Emmy.
Rodkey transitioned to screenwriting by selling the spec script “Dave the Ox,” aka “Starkers, Texas,” to Universal for producers Al Ruddy and Andre Morgan. Rodkey also sold an untitled pitch to Universal for Dan Halsted’s Illusion Entertainment to produce. He is completing a rewrite on Disney’s “One Last Fling.”
Overbrook, which has a first-look deal with Universal, is developing “Star City” for Will Smith and James Lassiter to produce, though it is not anticipated that Smith will star.
Also in development at Overbrook is the romantic comedy “Anything for You” for Universal, with Smith and Whitney Houston attached to star, and an untitled Nick Kazan-penned project also set up at Universal.
Rodkey’s deal was brokered by WMA in conjunction with his attorney Ken Richman at Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Hertz and Goldring.
CAA handled Overbrook’s side of the pact.