In what amounts to the biggest spec deal of the year, Sony Pictures has closed a $3 million deal to acquire “White House Down,” an action spec from “Amazing Spider-Man” scribe James Vanderbilt that had studios buzzing this week.
Heated bidding came down to Sony and Paramount.
“White House Down,” which is described as “Die Hard” meets “Air Force One,” will mark the second time this month an action spec set at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. has sold for impressive coin, following Millennium Films’ acquisition of Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt’s “Olympus Has Fallen,” which quickly attached Gerard Butler to star.
Vanderbilt will produce “White House Down” with his Mythology Entertainment partners Bradley Fischer and Laeta Kalogridis.
Additionally, Vanderbilt has come on to polish the script for Jose Padilha’s remake of “RoboCop,” which will star Joel Kinnaman (AMC’s “The Killing”). “The Infiltrator” scribe Josh Zetumer wrote the initial draft for MGM, while Nick Schenk (“Gran Torino”) was tapped for rewrite duties back in January.
It’s no surprise that Sony would outbid the competition for a spec from Vanderbilt, who has become one of the studio’s go-to scribes. Not only did he write Sony’s “Amazing Spider-Man” and “Total Recall” reboots and work on its “Red Riding” adaptation, but he has already been hired to write a treatment for an “Amazing Spider-Man” sequel.
Launched last November, Mythology is currently developing two potential franchise-launching projects; “The House With a Clock in Its Walls,” based on the first book in John Bellairs’ popular fantasy series, which “Supernatural” creator Erik Kripke is set to adapt and produce, as well as an adaptation of Richard Morgan’s novel “Altered Carbon,” which Kalogridis is writing with David Goodman (“Fringe”). Mythology, which also set up the drama series “The Lobotomist” at HBO with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way banner, is currently in production on Showtime’s Antoine Fuqua-directed Suge Knight documentary.
Vanderbilt is repped by WME and uFuse Management, while Mythology is repped by attorneys Katz Golden Rosenman and McKuin, Frankel & Whitehead.