EXCLUSIVE: 20th Century Fox has preemptively acquired The Mountain, a spec script by Helen Childress that Ben Stiller will develop to direct. Stiller and his Red Hour partner Stuart Cornfeld will produce. It’s a re-team for Stiller and Childress, who wrote Reality Bites. The project is a horror story based on characters from Summer, the novel by Edith Wharton. Set in the early 1900s, The Mountain revolves around a young woman who struggles to confront her destiny after stumbling upon a mysterious object that forces her to examine the secrets of her past. It’s a sophisticated horror premise in the vein of Rosemary’s Baby. Stiller and Childress are also developing an adaptation of the children’s book The Snowy Day under his Fox deal. Stiller continues to work on a remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty at Fox that he’ll direct and star in. He’s shooting the Akiva Schaffer-directed comedy Neighborhood Watch with Jonah Hill and Vince Vaughn for Fox.
Original Artists-repped Childress also scripted Mother’s Confidential at Paramount and Allison’s Starting To Happen for Sandra Bullock and Warner Bros.