EXCLUSIVE: Walt Disney Pictures has acquired The Runner, a pitch for a futuristic science fiction film that will be written by Dave Andron as a potential directing vehicle for Marc Forster. Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer is producing with Forster’s Apparatus Entertainment partner Brad Simpson. Andron hatched the NBC reinvention of Knight Rider, and he’s supervising producer of the FX series Justified.
The premise: In the year 2027, Earth’s surface has been rendered uninhabitable due to a devastating attack. A group of survivors living in the Rocky Mountains have discovered a way to send a man back in time. While the volunteer departs under the guise of trying to stop the devastating attack, he has an ulterior motive: to save the love of his life. The concept was hatched by Andron with Blacklight Transmedia. Grazer’s Imagine made a first-look deal with that company, which develops big idea concepts on multiple platforms. In this case, The Runner will be simultaneously developed for TV, video game, graphic novel, and for interactive content for hand held and mobile devices. Disney will be involved in all those other platforms. Blacklight’s Zak Kadison will also produce and his partner Eric Lieb will be executive producer. Imagine’s Erica Huggins is overseeing the project with Disney’s Brigham Taylor and Tonia Davis.
Disney production president Sean Bailey bought the pitch, another original big idea with a cutting-edge filmmaker for the studio. It’s also the second high-profile Disney project that takes a bleak apocalyptic look at the future. The other is Oblivion, which Tron: Legacy‘s Joseph Kosinski is developing to direct, based on a graphic novel from Radical Publishing. The Departed scribe William Monahan is writing that script.