EXCLUSIVE: DreamWorks has made a preemptive deal for an untitled pitch that will be written by Jonathan Tropper as a potential directing vehicle for Real Steel helmer Shawn Levy. Part of the deal is rights to a December 10 article in The New York Times about the last lab that had the chemicals to process Kodachrome in the final days before Kodak retired the photo development system and conceded to digital cameras. The plan is to shape that event–Kodachrome fans ventured to the Kansas lab from all over the country–into a father-son road trip story to reach the lab and process photos before those still photo images are forever lost.

The film will be produced by 21 Laps’ Levy and Dan Levine and Gotham Group’s Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Eric Robinson. Gotham brought the project to 21 Laps and they worked out the pitch together. Tropper most recently adapted the Steve Martin novel The Pleasure of My Company for Levy and 20th Century Fox. Tropper is back with DreamWorks after scripting the film adaptation of the Mary Chase play Harvey that had a Steven Spielberg directing commitment several years ago for a co-production between Fox and DreamWorks. That film fell apart over casting. Tropper adapted his own novel, This Is Where I Leave You, for Warner Bros, and several of his other novels are percolating all over town. DreamWorks co-presidents Holly Bario and Mark Sourian made the deal. The deal for the NYT rights was brokered by ICM. Tropper’s repped by UTA.