by: Donna Whitehead
We’re hearing from several sources that Universal Cable Productions is snapping-up Scott Wascha’s feature spec DODGE in a preemptive deal, amid interest from several film and TV buyers, including Netflix. The gritty/”Guy Ritchie-style” crime-actioner reportedly has producer Beau Flynn partnered with Brooklyn Weaver. The deal is likely to close sometime during the Thanksgiving weekend.
The fascinating aspect of this development is two-fold: first, that UCP, a television company, picked up a feature spec as-is, and second, that Flynn and Weaver must have shopped the spec to film buyers and TV buyers simultaneously.
Last year the opposite occurred with Mickey Fisher’s Extant TV spec, which drew bids from Warner Bros. and Fox for a film version before landing with WME TV. WME brought in Steven Spielberg (who currently has no TV deals), and the package sold to CBS amid a seven-network bidding war.
In general, it seems like the walls between film and television are diminishing rapidly, both in terms of personnel (in addition to Spielberg, Steven Soderbergh is now making TV shows, and actors like Matthew McConaughey can swing between the two media with ease) and, it seems, in terms of sales. Film buyers are bidding on TV voices like Fisher, while TV buyers are bidding on feature voices like Wachsa. More and more, companies are becoming unwilling to let a good voice and characters slip away, just because they’re not yet in the right medium.