Steve Zaillian’s Film Rites signs with Fox

'Dragon Tattoo' shingle seeks elevated commercial fare for studio

20th Century Fox has signed a first-look deal with Steve Zaillian and Garrett Basch’s Film Rites banner.

Film Rites recently partnered with Ridley and Tony Scott’s company Scott Free to produce an adaptation of Hugh Howey’s e-book “Wool” for 20th Century Fox, which beat out Lionsgate and several other suitors. Film Rites will be looking to produce elevated commercial material for the studio.

Shingle recently produced “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” for Sony Pictures. Zaillian adapted the script and is also working on sequel “The Girl Who Played With Fire,” which Zaillian will exec produce.

Company also has a producing credit on the Henry Cavill-Bruce Willis thriller “The Cold Light of Day,” which Summit opens Sept. 7.

Film Rites’ upcoming slate includes “Freezing People Is Easy,” which will star Paul Rudd, Kristen Wiig, Owen Wilson and Christopher Walken. Errol Morris is directing from a script by Zach Helm, who also wrote “Deep Water,” a thriller that Film Rites is producing for Fox 2000.

Outside of its new home studio, Film Rites is currently packaging Timur Bekmambetov’s “The Current War.” Company continues to develop “Red Riding” for director Ridley Scott, as well as John Hlavin’s script for an untitled heist pic at DreamWorks.

Other projects in the Film Rites stable include an English-language remake of Nacho Vigalondo’s sci-fi pic “Timecrimes,” which Zaillian is keen to direct himself, as well as “My Dinner With Herve,” which Sacha Gervasi plans to direct after he wraps “Hitchcock” for Fox Searchlight.

Zaillian received his fourth Oscar nomination last year for co-writing “Moneyball” with Aaron Sorkin and Stan Chervin. He previously won in 1994 for penning Steven Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List.” Basch served as Zaillian’s assistant on “All the King’s Men” and “American Gangster” before becoming the scribe’s producing partner. Duo are repped by WME.