War, comedy on Par

Studio, De Line set scribes for pic pair

Paramount and producer Donald De Line have hired scribes for two upcoming projects.

“City of Angels” scribe Dana Stevens will script the drama “Secrets of the Trade,” and “Surviving Christmas” writers Josh Sternin and Jeffrey Ventimilia will pen the romantic comedy “It’s Not You, It’s Me.”

Studio and producer will close the Tribeca Film Festival with Sunday’s premiere of “The Italian Job.”

“Secrets of the Trade” is based on a treatment by journalist David Ignatius, who just covered the conflict in Iraq for the Washington Post and International Herald Tribune. Stort is about a female newspaper correspondent covering a potentially volatile conflict abroad.

Stevens also scripted “For Love of the Game” and is working on the John Lennon and Yoko Ono movie at Columbia. De Line Pictures exec Wendy Japhet is supervising the pic.

De Line bought Ignatius’ pitch before the war began. Events during the conflict tested war coverage in ways that can be worked into the storyline, such as the embedded reporters who had to be careful not to divulge information in live reports that could have pinpointed troop positions.

“I was interested in journalists who risk their lives in pursuit of important news, and this war showed the impact that journalists can have on influencing world events,” De Line said.

On a much different track, De Line set Sternin and Ventimilia for the romantic comedy “It’s Not You, It’s Me,” which concerns a woman who readies her ex for the next relationship. Once she transforms him into an ideal catch and sets him up in a relationship, she realizes she should have hung on to him.

The duo’s “Surviving Christmas” was just filmed, starring Ben Affleck and James Gandolfini.

De Line’s Andrew Haas is supervising “It’s Not You.”

De Line is also paired with producer Scott Rudin on Par’s remake of “The Stepford Wives,” and he just set Steve Brill to direct “Without a Paddle,” described as a comic version of “Deliverance.”

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