Columbia Pictures is driving to the hoop.
Studio has landed rights to make a film about Jason McElwain, the autistic high schooler who saw his first action in his basketball team’s last game and scored 20 points.
Laura Ziskin will produce.
Deal comes days after McElwain, his family and his coach, Jim Johnson, signed with the William Morris Agency.
Suitors began calling right after the teen’s exploits captured media attention. The youth had a photo opportunity with President Bush, attended the NCAA Final Four and recently taped an appearance on “Oprah.”
Sony won out over competitive bids made by Universal with Imagine; New Line with producers Jon Shestack and Janet Grillo; and the Weinstein Co.
Magic Johnson and Mary Martin are aboard as exec producers and family lawyer Gino Nitti as a consultant. Johnson and Martin were the conduits of information between each bidder and the McElwain family.
“We’ve got a great central character who’s truly inspiring. There’s a universal appeal to his story, because we’ve all had obstacles to overcome,” Ziskin said.The agency is also expected to broker a book deal for the youth.