Category Archives: Spec Market News

A hub to find all news focused on the spec market, including feature specs, tv specs, pitches and film rights projects.

Mark Townend’s Sci-Fi Thriller Spec “Augmented” Hijacks Hollywood as Studios Circle (Updated)

AugmentedSet in a future where people are enhancing their lives with smart technology implants, Augmented follows a successful criminal defense attorney who has her body hijacked by an anonymous hacker and struggles to prevent him from using her to commit a series of proxy murders.

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“Above Kings,” Hot Spec About Aftermath of Lockerbie Bombing, Out to Studios

Donald De Line David Henry Gerson Above KingsThe story is set amid the aftermath of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. The incident claimed the lives of 189 American citizens, making it the deadliest act of terrorism against the U.S. prior to the Oklahoma City bombing and 9/11.

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Fox Acquires Sci-Fi Spec from “Stranger Things” EP Karl Gajdusek

Karl Gajdusek ExcerptIn a new deal, 20th Century Fox has acquired an untitled sci-fi spec from Stranger Things executive producer Karl Gajdusek, the Tracking Board has confirmed. Michael Ellenberg will produce the project via his new Media Res shingle.

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UTA, Gotham Group Shopping “The Endorsement,” Provocative Political Thriller Set Amid 2016 Election

The Endorsement by Zack FordDescribed as a cross between The Paper and Cape Fear, the script follows a Midwestern newspaper editor who is stalked by fringe extremists after she writes an article endorsing one of the candidates.

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Sundance Film “Polka King,” Dan Gilroy Project with Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo Find Home at Netflix

polka-king-excerptStreaming giant Netflix continues to expand their film slate, acquiring both The Polka King and the new Dan Gilroy film over the weekend, the Tracking Board has confirmed.

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Hot Weekend Reads Include Specs About Charlie Chaplin’s Grave Robbers and Moms Searching for Gold

Charlie Chaplin SmileEmma Cline’s debut novel The Girls is back on the market after initially being snapped up by super-producer Scott Rudin. Set in the summer of 1969, the story follows a 14-year-old girl who joins a commune run by charismatic madman Charles Manson.

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“Nightcrawler” Stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo Reuniting for New Dan Gilroy Project

Dan Gilroy Jake Gyllenhaal ExcerptNightcrawler writer-director Dan Gilroy is re-teaming with his stars Jakes Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo for a new untitled project, the Tracking Board has confirmed. Gilroy’s team at CAA is taking the project out to buyers.

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“John Wick” Scribe Sells Pitch to Cristal Pictures

Derek Kolstad ExcerptOriginal pitch “The Steward” from Derek Kolstad has landed at Cristal Pictures. They will fully finance and produce with plans for the project to be the first installment of a potential franchise.

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Buyers Circling Elon Musk Spec “The Man From Tomorrow” as Hot Script Draws “Social Network” Comparisons

Elon Musk The Man From TomorrowJordan Barel’s script tells the true story of the visionary who, after being ousted from Paypal, creates SpaceX and guides it through the turbulent early years while simultaneously building Tesla.

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Newcomers Toria Sheffield and Monica Byrnes Going Out with Hot New Female Action-Comedy Spec

Heat meterParadigm is out with a brand new spec, an untitled action-comedy project from Toria Sheffield and Monica Byrnes, seeking to continue meeting the demand for more female-driven stories, both in front of and behind the camera. There’s a lot of excited buzz around the project as it goes out to major territories.

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Netflix Lands Female-Centric Spec “Mother” from Misha Green

Misha Green ExcerptNetflix has acquired the hot new spec Mother from Misha Green after it first hit the market Friday afternoon, the Tracking Board has confirmed. The project follows a female protagonist in the vein of La Femme Nikita.

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The State of the Spec Market

Amazon Studios ExcerptIn examining the newest Spec Book, Neil Turitz finds that for the second year in a row, there were more specs put on the market and, more importantly, more sold, than the year before. This means there are more opportunities for the writers themselves, and for the companies making the movies to bring fresh voices to their product.

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Mirzai Twins Out With New Comedy Spec “I’m Leaving You” After Selling “Accidentes” to Tucker Tooley

Mirzai BrothersThe story follows three friends and co-workers who team up to help each other face their terrible exes and bad relationships. If the premise sounds a little vague, it’s only because the Mirzai brothers don’t want to tip their hand.

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James McAvoy to Star in “Escape,” Returning to His “Last King of Scotland” Roots

James McAvoy ExcerptScottish actor James McAvoy is set to star in Escape with director Colm McCarthy at the helm, the Tracking Board has confirmed. The film is based on a spec script by Vanya Asher.

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Paramount Buys Horror Spec “The Infinity Reel” From Newcomer Adam D’Alba

Paramount ExcerptThe story follows a paranormal investigator who finds himself drawn to a small town that has experienced bizarre phenomena. He soon discovers that these instances have an eerie connection with his own past.

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Amazon Acquires Spec “This Is Jane” About Chicago Abortion Service

Story of Jane ExcerptThe Tracking Board has confirmed that Amazon Studios acquired the spec This Is Jane by Dan Loflin in a six-figure deal. The project is based on Laura Kaplan’s book The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service published in 1995.

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Studios to Spend Weekend Reading Hot Genre Spec “Afraid” From “Red Eye,” “Red Widow” Writers

Heat meterDescribed as The Purge meets The Bourne Identity, the story follows four criminal soldiers whose killing skills have been enhanced by horrifying experiments. When they escape to a small Wisconsin town and begin a campaign of terror, only a former Army medic, his tough high school sweetheart and a weathered local sheriff stand in the way of these brutal killers.

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Lionsgate Wins Seven-Figure Bidding War for Inkshares Book “The Punch Escrow”

Irina Ivanova ExcerptWith multiple studios bidding on the sci-fi manuscript that’s being compared to Looper and Ready Player One, it’s Lionsgate who comes out on top to win newcomer Tal M. Klein’s first book.

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Fox Buys Untitled Comedy Spec for Female Directing, Writing, and Producing Team

Melissa Stack ExcerptIn a mid-six-figure deal, 20th Century Fox has acquired an untitled spec from Melissa Stack, the Tracking Board has confirmed. The project will also be Stack’s directorial debut.

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Launch Pad Finalist Steve Isles Signs With UTA (Exclusive)

SteveIsles - thumb Just one day after announcing our 2016 Launch Pad Feature Competition winners, Steve Isles joins the more than 200 writers who have landed reps from the competition as he signs with Mike Esola at UTA.

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Sony Adds Another Faith-Based Film to Their Inventory with Pitch “Hope Heals”

Hope Heals ExcerptVia their Columbia Pictures banner, Sony Pictures has acquired the pitch Hope Heals from writers Bob Smiley and Justin Hensley, the Tracking Board has confirmed. The project is based on the memoir of the same name and adds to the growing list of faith-based films from the studio.

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Paramount Acquires Ian Shorr Spec “Infinite”

Paramount ExcerptIn a quick turnaround, Paramount Pictures has acquired the spec Infinite from writer Ian Shorr, the Tracking Board has confirmed. The script only hit the market recently.

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Introducing Inaugural Launch Pad Manuscript Competition Winner Danny Newell

200x134 - Winners ANNOUNCED Out of more than 2,000 entries coming to us from 24 different countries, we’re incredibly excited to introduce you to the 2016 LPMC Overall Winner, selected by none other than Ridley Scott and his Scott Free Productions.

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Oscar-Winner Damien Chazelle Sells Hit List Script “The Claim”

damien chazelle excerptLa La Land writer-director Damien Chazelle has optioned the movie rights to his mystery thriller The Claim to Oceanside Media. Oceanside’s Scott Clayton will produce with Route One Entertainment’s Russell Levin and Motion Picture Capital’s Leon Clarance.

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Sci-Fi Novel “Afterlife” Prepares for Town Rollout as Rights Hit Market

amazonAuthor Marcus Sakey is hoping to make a big splash this weekend with as his upcoming novel Afterlife prepares to hit the market. His previous novel Brilliance was sold to Legendary for $1.25 million and attached Will Smith to star and Joe Roth to produce.

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Drew Goddard to Direct “Bad Times At The El Royale” for 20th Century Fox

Drew Goddard Bad Times At The El RoyalePlot details are being kept under wraps, though sources say it’s a contained thriller with genre elements. Only top studio execs were given the opportunity to read the script, hence the vague nature of the titular “bad times.”

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Pete Barry’s Launch Pad Script “Marian” Sells to Sony With Margot Robbie Attached to Star (Exclusive)

53629633 (1)_resizeWith several A-List talent packages circling, Sony stepped in to close a deal and mark the first sale of the ongoing 2016 Launch Pad Feature Competition!

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New Line Cinema Picks Up “Wizard of Oz” Horror Pitch From Launch Pad and Hit List Alum Mike Van Waes

oz-excerptThe world of Wizard of Oz is about to get the horror treatment from Hit List alum Mike Van Waes. New Line Cinema recently picked up a pitch tied to the classic 1900 L. Frank Baum from the up and coming screenwriter.

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*Updated as Offers Come in* Brie Larson, Daisy Ridley, & Alicia Vikander Circling as the Hottest Spec in Town Gears Up for the Weekend!

2-1-768x384_resize*UPDATED February 27th* As the project now goes into all buyers, more talent circles and offers start to come in! Gearing up for a star-studded Oscar weekend, one spec script has taken the town by storm as A-list talent and Producers fight for a piece of the pie.

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Hot New Spec “Marian” Aims to Reinvent the Studio Franchise With Fresh Spin on “Robin Hood” (Exclusive)

Maid Marian Robin HoodAlicia Vikander is just one of the A-list actresses circling this project, which is being pitched as a grounded Braveheart, and finds Robin Hood’s love interest rising to power and leading her people into war that will decide the fate of her kingdom.

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