Said to be the hottest script in Hollywood, Warner Bros-based Alcon Entertainment has acquired the spec script The Prisoners and is planning to finance the project and produce with 8:38 Productions and Madhouse Entertainment, reports Screen Daily. Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale were said to already be attached to the film described as Se7en meets The Silence of the Lambs, as was director Bryan Singer (Superman Returns), but the article below states that they are actively seeking a new helmer.
The project is being readied quickly for an autumn 2010 release by Warner Bros.
Alcon co-founders and co-CEOs Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson announced the deal, which was worth “mid-six-figures against low-seven figures” for the script by buzzed-about newcomer Aaron Guzikowski.
The thriller is about a small-town carpenter whose young daughter and friend are kidnapped. The man starts his own investigation but has to contend with the big-city detective on the case.
Kosove and Johnson will produce, along with 8:38’s Kira Davis and Madhouse Entertainment’s Adam Kolbrenner. Robyn Meisinger will executive produce.
Discussions with potential directors and cast will start this week.
Johnson and Kosove said: “This project has created considerable interest in town and we’re moving forward with it quickly. It’s a terrifically exciting project with compelling commercial appeal. We’re seeking top talent for the lead roles and hope to announce a start date soon.”
The script was brought to Alcon by Kira Davis, whose 8:38 Productions has a first look deal with Alcon. Madhouse Entertainment, which manages Guzikowski, initially developed the script.
Alcon also has two other projects for Warner release in 2010: The Blind Side starring Sandra Bullock and The Book Of Eli starring Denzel Washington.
Scott Edel of Loeb and Loeb and Alcon’s in-house counsel David Fierson negotiated the deal on behalf of Alcon and Jeff Frankel of the firm McKuin and Frankel and David Fox of the firm Myman, Abell, Fineman, Fox, Greenspan & Light negotiated on behalf of Guzikowski and Madhouse. Also, Guzikowski is represented by Adam Levine, David Karp and Rich Cook of WME.