You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Polio Vaccine Movie ‘The Impossible War’ in the Works

Black Bear Pictures is launching development on “The Impossible War,” a movie chronicling efforts by Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin to develop anti-polio vaccines.

Black Bear won the auction for Robert Specland’s script and will team with Pacific View Management & Production to produce and fully finance the movie. Black Bear’s Teddy Schwarzman and Ben Stillman will produce with Pacific View’s Peter Dealbert.

Salk needed seven years to develop the first polio vaccine in 1955, three years after a U.S. epidemic killed more than 3,000 in the worst polio outbreak in the nation’s history. The vaccine was declared safe and effective by test monitors on April 12, 1955 — 10 years to the day after the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the most widely recognized polio victim of that era. Sabin developed the oral polio vaccine, which came into use in 1961.

Black Bear produced “The Imitation Game,” “Gold” and “Mudbound,” which sold last month following its well-received premiere at the Sundance Film Festival to Netflix in a multi-territory deal for $12.5 million. It recently wrapped production on George Clooney’s “Suburbicon,” starring Matt Damon and Julianne Moore.

Specland script “Nyad” made the 2015 Black List. The screenplay is based on the true story of marathon swimmer Diana Nyad, who in 2013, after four failed attempts and at the age of 64, became the first person ever to complete the 103-mile swim from Cuba to Florida.

Specland is also teamed with Neal Baer on the legal drama “The Verdict.” He is repped by UTA, Dealbert of Pacific View Management and attorney Fred Toczek of Toczek Suddelson. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.


More Film

  • Midnight Traveler review

    Film Review: 'Midnight Traveler'

    Refugees rarely get to tell their own stories, which means their stories get told for them — often inaccurately and with undue hostility. Lack of resources is one issue, but a lack of stability is another: Asylum-seekers are in a frightening state of limbo, fleeing the imminent dangers of their native countries only to suffer [...]

  • WGA Authorizing Managers, Lawyers to Make

    WGA Authorizing Managers, Lawyers to Make Deals if Agents are Fired

    The Writers Guild of America has authorized managers and lawyers to negotiate deals for writers in place of agents — if the guild tells members to fire their agents on April 7. The guild’s negotiating committee notified members of the plans in a message Wednesday. The WGA and the Association of Talent Agents having made [...]

  • Gone With the Wind Screening

    Film News Roundup: 'Gone With the Wind' Sets Event Cinema Record

    In today’s film news roundup, “Gone with the Wind” sets a new record, “Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles” is acquired, and Tracy Oliver signs with Topic Studios. EVENT CINEMA RECORD The 80th anniversary release of “Gone with the Wind” has grossed $2.23 million in six nationwide screenings on four dates — a record as the [...]

  • Made in Abyss - Journey’s Dawn

    Film Review: ‘Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn’

    It’s a Herculean effort to take a multi-volume manga like author Akihito Tsukushi’s “Made in Abyss,” adapt it into a popular anime television series, and then compress the show into a coherent feature (technically, two movies), but the folks at Sentai Filmworks have done just that. Part one, “Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn,” will screen [...]

  • HAF: 'Assassination,' 'Apprenticeship' Named Project Market

    HAF: 'Assassination,' 'Apprenticeship' Named Project Market Winners

    Eighteen prizes were presented on Wednesday afternoon at the closing ceremony of the Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum. The project market sits alongside FilMart as part of the Entertainment Expo in Hong Kong. “Wong Tai Sin Assassination” to be directed by Wong Hoi and produced by Derek Kwok Tsz-kin, was named the winner of [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Writers Guild Makes Concession on Film Financing in Agent Talks

    The Writers Guild of America has made a concession in film financing in its negotiations with Hollywood talent agents — the second in six weeks of talks. WGA West executive director David Young said Wednesday that it had made a “significant move” toward reaching a deal with the Association of Talent Agents for a revamped [...]

  • Noah Centineo He-Man

    Noah Centineo to Play He-Man in 'Masters of the Universe' Reboot

    From a boy (who’s loved) to He-Man. Noah Centineo is in talks to take on the superhero in Sony Pictures and Mattel Films’ “Masters of the Universe.” Brothers Adam and Aaron Nee are directing the reboot. Mattel Films is partnering with Sony on the movie, which is based on Mattel’s beloved toy line that spawned [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content