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Tyro sells pitch for mid-six figures

Mostow/Lieberman to produce Kinberg's script

NEW YORK — Mostow/Lieberman and Village Roadshow have picked up an untitled pitch from tyro scribe and Columbia U. student Simon Kinberg for mid-six figures.

Story concerns a group of five friends who stumble across a creepy town. Jonathan Mostow and Hal Lieberman will produce, and Paul Neesan will exec produce. Village Roadshow is co-financing the pic, with Bruce Berman also attached to exec produce.

Kinberg, currently a third-year student at Columbia’s graduate film school, will write the untitled pitch as his thesis project. Kinberg’s first-year project, a spec titled “Ghouls of New York,” was sold to Redeemable Features. “Ghouls,” set against New York during the 19th century, concerns two criminal masterminds who pull off a heist, kidnapping the body of New York’s richest man and selling him for ransom.

Kinberg’s second-year project, the pitch “Breakaway,” was sold to Edward R. Pressman. Pic is about a high school basketball star who happens to be an Orthodox Jew. Pressman will co-produce with Kinberg.

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“Simon represents the kind of people with whom we are looking to work,” Lieberman told Daily Variety. “We are always looking for new voices.”

Mostow/Lieberman, which has a first-look deal with Universal, will open their submarine action pic “U-571,” starring Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton and Harvey Keitel, on Friday.

Kinberg was repped in the deal by CAA’s Martin Spencer, David Styne and Mara Jacobs and is managed by Lawrence Mattis.

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