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U preps pic pair from McGruther

Dysfunctional 'Nature,' Singer-helmed 'Lightspeed' on slate

Scribe Michael McGruther, who co-wrote “Tigerland,” has lined up two projects with Universal Pictures and U-based Jersey Films.

The first is “Sentenced to Nature,” described as similar in tone to “Deliverance” but set in the desert. Pic is about dysfunctional teenagers from well-to-do families who are sent into unregulated wilderness camps to learn how to achieve their goals in life, and the trials they face in the process.

Pic is based on a Charles Siebert New York Times Magazine article, “Sentenced to Nature,” secured for the shingle by Jersey Films co-chair Michael Shamberg and senior VP of production Dan Levine.

McGruther also is penning high-concept sci-fi pic “Lightspeed,” whose logline is being kept under tight wraps. Pic, which blurs the line between reality and science fiction, is based on McGruther’s own pitch. Helmer Bryan Singer (“X-Men,” “X-Men 2”) is attached to direct the pic and is supervising the script.

Shamberg and Levine spearheaded the acquisition of both projects and will oversee their development.

At U, VP Tim O’Hair is overseeing “Sentenced” and VP Dylan Clark is overseeing “Lightspeed.”

McGruther, who is also an actor, appeared in such pics as “Clockers” and “In and Out.”

He is repped by the Gersh Agency and attorney Warren Dern.