Universal Smuggled Into a "Safe House"

2/13/2010 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Matt Jussim

David Guggenheim ("Medallion") has sold his original screenplay "Safe House" to Universal Pictures, reports The LA Times.

According to the LA Times: David Guggenheim, an Us magazine editor with no previous screenwriting experience, has just stirred a bidding war with a spec script (that is, an original script and idea that was written unsolicited by a studio or producer and isn't based on any prior piece of material) that he wrote in pretty much three months flat.

The story follows a CIA agent who is the sole survivor when a safe house is raided by hostile forces. The agent must transport a dangerous prisoner to a safe location before said forces in pursuit take them both out.

Universal Pictures and producer Scott Stuber has won the bidding war with a mid-six-figure offer, beating out power players that include "Star Trek" and "Transformers" writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (producing for Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks) as well as Sony.

Guggenheim comes from Hollywood royalty--his brother Marc is writing "The Green Lantern" and his brother Eric was a writer on the Olympic hockey film "Miracle."

Said Guggenheim: "I'd come home at 2 a.m. after an issue close and I was still wired, so I'd sit down and write. I think it helped that 'Safe House' is 180 degrees from anything you'd see in 'Us'.”

High-concept thrillers with a literary pedigree have been in vogue since "No Country for Old Men," with a number of similar projects in development. Either way, with such an appealing premise, the movie is thought to sport a lead role that would be a choice one for a number of young actors.

As a writer and movie fan, it’s great to see someone try to make something original and inventive. Sure, remakes and sequels are cool, but isn’t it nice when a great film comes along that’s a totally original story?

Here’s hoping Guggenheim’s “Safe House” makes it to the big screen soon--and that it's good.

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