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Panoptic buzzes to ‘Bee’

Atchison sells spelling bee tale, also attached to helm

In a mid-six-figure deal, Panoptic Pictures has picked up Nicholl Fellowship-winning script “Akeelah and the Bee.”

Written by Doug Atchison, script follows an 11-year-old girl from South Central Los Angeles who overcomes the pressures of her environment to compete in the National Spelling Bee. Her journey unites the community in the process.

Atchison, who is repped by ICM and the Pitt Group, is also on board to direct. Panoptic development director Danny Llewelyn brough the project to the company.

Panoptic partners Jeff Davidson and Ron Wechsler, who produced the Miramax-distributed “Little City” and “The House of Yes,” will produce the pic once financing and distribution is secured.

Panoptic is in pre-production on Nick Guthe’s “Mini’s First Time” and Roberto Benabib’s “Tempting Fate.”