Friday, August 25, 2006

The Cruise/Paramount Chalk Circle

Variety have posted a list of in-development projects that Cruise-Wagner were working on at Paramount. Let me quote:

"One Shot," a bestselling mystery by Lee Child about a Dirty Harry-like ex-military homicide investigator that was bought last year. It is the latest title in a long-running series that could hatch a franchise.

"The Few," a drama about American fighter pilots who fought for the British in WWII. John Logan wrote the script, and Cruise might reteam with his "Collateral" director Michael Mann.
"The War Magician," a drama Cruise developed with director Peter Weir, with Cruise keen to play British magician Jasper Maskelyne. He used illusions and sleight-of-hand to confound the Germans and protect British troops in North Africa. Peter Buchman wrote the script and Ari Ruben is rewriting.

"The Fall of the Warrior King," an Iraqi War drama based on a New York Times Magazine article about Lt. Col. Nathan Sassaman, an Army commander in Baghdad who resigned following a scandal in which men under his command caused the drowning of an Iraqi civilian. Stephen Belber ("The Power of Duff") is writing.

"The Devil's Banker," the Christopher Reich thriller novel that pairs a female British spy and a U.S. agent and forensic accountant in a cat-and-mouse game to stop a terrorist attack by tracking the mastermind moving vast sums of money from banks in various countries. C/W also holds the option to Reich novel "The Patriots Club," about a young banker who's framed for murder by a secret society that has manipulated world events for centuries.

A love story vehicle for Cruise that is being written by Marc Klein, who scripted the upcoming Ridley Scott-directed Russell Crowe starrer "A Good Year."

"Carter Beats the Devil," the Glen David Gold novel that is being adapted by "Little Miss Sunshine" scribe Michael Arndt as another vehicle for Cruise to play a magician.

It isn't clear yet which of these projects will stay at Paramount and which will go with Cruise-Wagner to new homes, like The Eye, the Jessica Alba-starring Pang Bros. remake which they've set up at Lionsgate for next year.

As I understand it, Robert Towne is, was or will be involved with Carter Beats the Devil too.

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