Sources close to The Tracking Board have confirmed that the action-packed historical drama The Virginian is officially a-go at New Line Cinema. Michael Milberg and Donald De Line will produce for De Line Pictures.
Last week, we broke the news that CAA was working to package the script with an A-list star, and that Michael Fassbender, Henry Cavill and Charlie Hunnam were in the mix for the lead of George Washington. Sources have confirmed that Bradley Cooper, also repped at CAA, is now circling the role as well.
Written by Michael Russell Gunn, the revolutionary spec tore through Hollywood last week, garnering the attention of big league producers like Mary Parent and Scott Stuber, but Milberg and New Line won the battle after a fiercely competitive situation. We hear that the spec sold for a solid mid-six figure sum.
Pitched in the tone of Braveheart and The Patriot, the biopic follows the life of George Washington, a complicated man who would rise to become the first President of the United States.
This is Gunn’s first script sale. Previously, he was a writer on ABC’s mystery series The Whispers and the Starz pirate drama Black Sails. Not to mention the fact that he cut his teeth on HBO’s The Newsroom, working under the one-and-only Aaron Sorkin.
De Line has recently been involved with some of Hollywood’s biggest directors, including Michael Bay and Martin Campbell. The shingle is currently in pre-production with Steven Spielberg’s next film, Ready Player One.
As the country braces for another general election, politics are once again front and center in the cultural zeitgeist. It’s no wonder that the remarkable story of the first Commander in Chief is quickly becoming one of the town’s hottest properties, and if some serious talent like Cooper does become involved, that could potentially amount to box office gold during next November–just in time for awards season.
Josh Lyons | Staff Writer