Hello ‘Dali’ for helmer

West signs on for artist biopic

Helmer Simon West’s production shingle Simon West Prods. has paid a low-mid-six figure option for the feature film rights to Jeremy Walters spec script “Dali.”

West has signed on to helm pic which he will produce with his prexy of production Jib Polhemus who brought pic into company.

Pic will draw a portrait of the artist and his mentally unstable wife Gala, who conquered America with sex, sin and surrealism only to succumb later to worldwide scandal and misfortune.

“I see it as a ‘Moulin Rouge’ of the artworld,” said West. “The film will contain a lot of music and crazy visuals. Dali was a genius whose work included not only painting but also film. It’s a visceral, sexy, fast and imaginative story about an artist who was considered a genius but also a bit mad, crazy, whimsical and bizarre.”

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Added Walters: “It’s not a screen bio-pic so much as a surreal story of fact,” said Walters, who spent three years researching Dali’s life and art from volumes of books, tapes, letters and home photos gained through access to the archives of the Salvador Dali Museum. “It’s really a character- driven piece, but one that requires an extensive cinematic vocabulary and the strong visual style that Simon is so well known for.”

Walters, repped by Becsey Wisdom Kalajian and managers Principato-Young, also penned “Operation Garbo” optioned by helmer Luis Mandoki and his producing partner Mimi Polk Gitlin, a WWII political thriller centering around Juan Pujol, a spy instrumental in the success of the Normandy Beach invasion who then faked his death to hide from the Nazis.

He also wrote “The Irishman,” which was formerly optioned by helmer James Foley.

West, repped by Endeavor, is also set to helm “RPM,” for Sony which John Baldecchi is producing with producer-scribe Joel Wyman. Helmer is also developing a big-budget epic adventure tale “The Sailmaker.”