Sony bites into ‘Sherlock’ idea

Scribe paid high-six against low-seven

Despite a bidding war that attracted offers from Disney and Universal, Sony Pictures Entertainment has snatched up “Sherlock and the Vengeance of Dracula,” a script penned by Michael Valle.

Valle will be paid a high-six against low-seven figures and sources say the studio plans to put the project on the fast-track.

Pic tells the story of Sherlock Holmes, who faces an unusual detective challenge when Dracula decides to visit London.

Mutual Film Company, which brought the project to Sony, will produce. Chris Columbus and partner Michael Barnathan are in talks to direct and produce, respectively.

Mutual’s prexy of production, Betsy Beers, and executive Tania Landau will oversee the project; Columbia Pictures’ executive veep of production Michael Costigan will shepherd “Sherlock” for the studio.

Mutual, in conjunction with Centropolis, is currently producing Sony’s “The Patriot” starring Mel Gibson.

Valle’s deal was negotiated by his agents, Preferred Artists, and lawyer Linda Lichter of Lichter, Grossman, Nichols & Adler.