Universal recruiting ‘Agent 13’

Studio wins bidding war for Charlize Theron project

Universal Pictures has won a bidding war for “Agent 13,” and is finalizing a deal to acquire the red-hot package WME took out this week that has Charlize Theron attached to star and Rupert Wyatt attached to direct from a script by T.S. Nowlin.

Theron will produce the sci-fi action pic with her Denver and Delilah Prods. partner Beth Kono, as well as A.J. Dix, who recently joined the company from Tower Hill Entertainment. Sean Daniel and Jason Brown will produce for the Sean Daniel Company, which is behind Universal’s planned reboot of “The Mummy” franchise. Union Entertainment, which reps the rights holders of the source material, will also produce.

Should a deal close, Theron would be back in business with the studio behind her summer tentpole “Snow White and the Huntsman.” All of the other major studios except for Disney chased the project.

Story, which is based on an obscure series of novels from the 1980s by David Marconi and Flint Dille, is said to involve an inter-dimensional border patrol. While plot details remain under wraps, sources familiar with the project tell Variety that Theron will not play the title character, who is male.

Coming off strong reviews for her perf in the Denver and Delilah-produced “Young Adult,” Theron next stars in Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus.” Wyatt recently directed the 20th Century Fox blockbuster “Rise of the Apes,” while Nowlin is writing “Wild Guns” for Gianni Nunnari’s Hollywood Gang Prods.

Universal’s next action-adventure pic, “Battleship,” is set to open stateside on May 18.

WME reps Theron, Nowlin and Wyatt, who is also repped by Independent Talent Group. Caliber Media manages Nowlin.