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Tyro gets major pay for ‘Stay’

Benioff sells first spec script for supernatural sum

Outbidding five other offers, Regency has ponied up $1.8 million for spec script “Stay” from tyro scribe David Benioff.

High-profile spec has been fast-tracked by Regency. The mind-bending thriller centers on a psychologist at an Ivy League university and his attempt to prevent one of his students from committing suicide.

Former Warner Bros. exec Tom Lassally will produce the pic, which has been described as a supernatural thriller in the vein of “The Others” and “The Sixth Sense.” Lassally is also producing Regency’s “Fat Tuesday,” which he wrote with Peter Elkoff.

Regency senior production veep Kara Francis will oversee the project for prexy Sanford Panitch, who brought it into the studio.

“Stay” is the first spec from WMA-repped Benioff. He previously penned novel “The 25th Hour,” which he has adapted for Industry Entertainment. Tobey Maguire is attached to star and produce the pic, about 24 hours in the life of four young friends before one of them goes off to prison.

Deal for “Stay” was made by WMA and Industry Entertainment manager Guymon Casady and attorney Gretchen Bruggerman. (Michael Fleming contributed to this report.)