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Aison: Action spec ‘Wunderkind’ wows Abrams

10 Screenwriters to Watch 2012: Patrick Aison

After graduating from USC’s graduate film program, Aison moved back to New York City to raise his kids, but it didn’t take long for him to rethink his plans.

“The first time I had to push a stroller through snow, I realized that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea,” says the writer, now permanently back in L.A.

Aison’s first spec, a sports drama called “Takedowns,” was purchased by GreeneStreet Films in 2007, and “Echo Station,” a sci-fi thriller he co-wrote with friend Brad Kean, has Circle of Confusion and H2F slated to co-produce. But it was Aison’s action spec “Wunderkind” that has kicked the scribe’s career into gear.

Set in the 1970s, “Wunderkind” tells the story of two Nazi hunters from different organizations — one CIA, the other from Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency — as they cross paths while going after the same target.

“Wunderkind” started making the rounds in May. Soon after, an exec at Paramount read the script and gave it a glowing endorsement. From there, it made its way to J.J. Abrams, whose Bad Robot made an offer.

Popular on Variety

While Aison bucks the writer’s trend of sticking to one genre, he sees all of his storytelling connected by one common theme: “Character is at the core of everything I write.”

Lindsey Weber, head of Bad Robot’s film department, believes Aison is a perfect asset to their wheelhouse: “Too often these days, by the time you’re on page 25 of a script, you know exactly what’s going to happen on page 90. In ‘Wunderkind,’ Patrick has created that too-rare combination of an emotionally engaging, complex character story set within a relentless action movie that keeps you guessing all the way until the end.”

Reps: ICM; H2F; Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum, Morris & Klein

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