WB recruits Ayer’s ‘Training Day’

Guggenheim to helm corrupt cop pic

Warner Bros. has picked up David Ayer’s screenplay “Training Day,” to which Davis Guggenheim is attached to direct for the studio.

Robert Newmyer and Jeffrey Silver are producing the crime thriller under their Warner-based Outlaw Prods. banner.

It’s understood that Warners has given Ayer a production commitment under which the project must proceed to production within six months after Ayer delivers his rewrite.

Ayer stands to collect a cool $1 million if the studio elects to proceed to production, and if not, the rights will revert to him and he will be free to set up the project elsewhere.

Corrupt mentor

Pic tells story of a young police officer on his first day with the LAPD’s undercover narcotics unit. The greenhorn is paired with an experienced older cop who is to serve as his mentor, but turns out to be utterly corrupt.

WB veep of production Basil Iwanyk is overseeing the project for the studio.

“Training Day” was previously being put together independently with Guggenheim attached to direct and Samuel L. Jackson and Matt Damon to star, but that combination never came to fruition. While there is no casting on the project at this time, producers Newmyer and Silver are intending to go out to talent quickly for an end of year pre-production start.

First screenplay

Project is one of the first screenplays written by Ayer, who held tightly onto its rights even during his salad days as a struggling scribe, when “Training Day” was being sent around as his writing sample. Now with some credits under his belt, Ayer felt the time, and Warners’ offer, were right to embark on his tale.

Guggenheim last directed “Gossip” for Warner Bros., which Newmyer and Silver produced. College campus-set drama is set for release later this year.

Ayer, a former Navy submariner, most recently penned the Universal Pictures/Canal Plus submarine thriller “U-571,” which stars Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton and Harvey Keitel.

Ayer also scripted the 1998 Steven Seagal action drama “The Patriot,” and he’s done rewrite work on such pics as “The Plague Season” for Alphaville Prods. and Intermedia Films, plus “The Academy Group” for Maysville Prods. and Warner Bros.

The scribe is repped by Todd Feldman and Amy Ferris of International Creative Management.