UPDATE: As Deadline predicted, Warner Bros has emerged the victor in a spirited bidding battle for the Dan Fogelman pitch that has Tom Cruise attached to star. Five studios were in the mix after Fogelman met with all the studios yesterday to pitch the film he’ll write. I’m told the deal was just under $2 million upfront against just higher than $3 million if the movie gets made.
EARLIER EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has emerged at the frontrunner to pay seven figures for an untitled pitch by Crazy, Stupid, Love scribe Dan Fogelman that has Tom Cruise attached to play a politician who gets caught in an affair. With his reputation in tatters, the pol retreats to his hometown to lick his wounds, repair relationships and confront his past. There are other bidders in the mix, including Fox and Paramount, and MGM is taking a run at the property. WME is brokering the auction.
It’s not surprising that Warner Bros would be aggressive. The studio paid $2.5 million for Crazy, Stupid Love and turned it into a much-buzzed-about summer film that will star Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling. The bidding for the new project is north of $1.5 million at the moment, but it could go higher. Fogelman, who has scripted such animated films as Tangled, Bolt and Cars, continues to write scripts that fuel multimillion-dollar spec deals. He got $3 million from Warner Bros for his script Imagine, on which he’s slated to make his directing debut with Carell starring. He followed with a deal at Indian Paintbrush to direct an adaptation of the Jesse Andrews novel Me & Earl & The Dying Girl, which Andrews will adapt. Fogelman’s other script, My Mother’s Curse, is in production at Paramount with Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand starring.
As for Cruise, he’ll next star in Rock of Ages, New Line’s adaptation of the Broadway musical, playing the decadent rocker Stacee Jaxx for director Adam Shankman. He also recently came attached to Oblivion, the Joseph Kosinski-directed sci-fi film based on the Radical Publishing comic property. Universal is negotiating to finance and distribute after Disney dropped out of the project and let Kosinski shop it so he could make it PG-13. Cruise is repped by CAA.