Joe Ballarini’s Berlin Wall Spec “Skyward” Into Studios with Producers (Exclusive)


Skyward Joe BallariniJeremy Richter Photography

Update 1 (01.25.17 – 5:35 pm): Fox has won the auction for ’s Skyward, the Tracking Board has confirmed. will produce the project, which was brought into the by Fox execs Emma Watts and Kira Goldberg. Deadline broke the news of the sale.

The original story is below.

While some studios pop champagne bottles to celebrate this morning’s Oscar nominations, others have moved on and are focusing on what’s next. To that end, several suitors are scrambling for ’s spec , which is described as being similar in tone to Best Picture winners Argo and The King’s Speech.

Skyward chronicles the incredible true story of two courageous families who risk everything to make a daring flight in an enormous, homemade hot air balloon they build in their garage in an attempt to escape over the Berlin Wall in 1979.

Insiders tell the Tracking Board that and his Josephson Entertainment have taken the script into TriStar, and her Sunswept Entertainment are into and , while have taken the project into Disney and Amazon.

Ballarini is a prolific writer known for his work on DreamWorks Animation’s Turbo and Fox Animation/Blue Sky’s Epic and Ice Age: Continental Drift. He also wrote the script for Hasbro’s upcoming My Little Pony movie, and recently set up a feature adaptation of his three-book series A Babysitter’s Guide to Monsters with Walden Media and Montecito Pictures.

Ballarini also wrote the action script Lockdown for Sony and Michael Bay, the YA adaptation Charlie Paris and the Young Ambassadors for and the comic book adaptation Imagine Agents for Fox, and Boom! . He recently signed on to adapt Kate Milford’s bestselling mystery novel Gleenglass House for Paramount and Transformers Ian Bryce.


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  1. I remember watching this movie as a kid the first time Disney made it.
    Was called Night Crossing with Beau Bridges and John Hurt.

    Probably a good time about now to be telling stories about people trying to escape and evade fascism.

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