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Two scribes strike it big

WB, USA ink film, TV deals

Twenty-six-year-old scribes Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci won’t have to worry about paying off their student loans.

In separate deals that straddle the film and TV worlds, Warner Bros. has purchased their political thriller spec “The 28th Amendment” for Richard Donner to potentially direct, and Studios USA has signed them to a multiyear, seven-figure deal.

Sale price on “Amendment” was described as mid-six figures against high-six. WB Worldwide production prexy Lorenzo di Bonaventura is believed to be spearheading this project for the time being until an exec is signed to it.

Story concerns a young U.S. president who, in the early days of his administration, uncovers the existence of a hidden power structure that ensures that the real influence remains in the hands of a favored few. This Trilateral Commission-type cabal uses rubouts to serve its purposes, and soon the prez has to save his own hide when he realizes that the shadow government has JFK assassination-style plans. Insiders describe the project as having a “Three Days of the Condor” tone and dramatic structure.

AMG, which represents Donner and brought the script in to the studio, will produce with the Donner Co.

The writing team has also impressed Studios USA, distributor of syndie skeins “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” and “Xena: Warrior Princess” (on which the scribes have worked for the past few years), signing them to develop new TV projects.

In 1997, the then 23-year-old Kurtzman and Orci joined “Hercules” as staff writers. The following year, they were made showrunners and named co-exec producers for the show’s final eight episodes. Those episodes have completed lensing and are skedded to air through November.

Keeping busy, the duo are currently running, as well as co-exec producing, the popular “Hercules” spinoff, “Xena: Warrior Princess.”

Kurtzman and Orci met while high school students in L.A. They began their creative efforts shortly after while attending different out-of-state colleges. Kurtzman’s post-grad stint at Renaissance Pictures, the producer of both “Hercules” and “Xena,” led to their current titles.

Broder Kurland Webb Uffner’s Emile Gladstone, who reps the scribes, brought “Amendment” to the Donner Co.’s Mills Goodloe, who brought it to Donner’s attention. The duo are also repped by Broder Kurland’s Chris Silbermann and attorneys Michael Gendler and Kevin Kelly.