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Sommers sets scribes to join ‘Airborn’ unit

Oppenheimer, Donnelly to pen script

HOLLYWOOD — Universal Pictures-based production shingle the Sommers Co. has hired writing team Josh Oppenheimer and Thomas Donnelly to adapt “Airborn” as a feature film.

Based on the children’s book of the same name by Kenneth Oppel, “Airborn” is set in a fantastical world of flying cruise ships where a young sail-maker from one airship falls for a feisty young rich girl who convinces him to help her decode the secrets of her deceased father’s diary.  The two wind up on an uncharted island, and in a race with pirates for a valuable treasure.

Helmer Stephen Sommers and producing partner Bob Ducsay will produce the pic, with Andre Morgan and Albert Ruddy (“Million Dollar Baby”) serving as exec producers.

The Gersh-repped pair of Oppenheimer and Donnelly recently wrote the adaptation to the upcoming Par pic, “Sahara,” (based on the Clive Cussler book). They also recently penned “Cowboys and Aliens,” in which cowpokes and Indians band together when Earth is invaded; “Cowboys” is set up with Escape Artists at Columbia Pictures.

U vice chairman of worldwide production, Mary Parent, VP of production Damien Saccani and creative exec Drew Crevello will oversee “Airborn” for the studio.