EXCLUSIVE: Indian Paintbrush has put the finishing strokes on a high-six figure preemptively acquire The Signal, a pitch by hot scribe Brad Ingelsby. The company is keeping the logline under wraps, but it is a contained family-adventure film that has a sci-fi element and is set over the course of a family’s weekend getaway. Indian Paintbrush’s Steven Rales and Mark Roybal will produce and Michael Pruss will be co-producer.
Ingelsby was a 27-year old AFI grad who was working for his father’s insurance business and living with his parents in Pennsylvania in 2008 when Relativity Media ended his sales career by paying him $650,000 against $1.1 million for The Low Dweller, a gritty revenge thriller that came with Ridley Scott attached to direct and Leonardo DiCaprio to star. It took a couple of years, but Ingelsby has become one of the hot writers in town, even if Scott and DiCaprio are now limited to being producers. That script, now retitled Out of the Furnace, has Crazy Heart‘s Scott Cooper attached to direct, with Christian Bale attached to play the lead role of Slim, a man released after serving years in prison for murder, and who only wants to follow through on his promise to marry his long-suffering girlfriend (Zoe Saldana). That’s until his brother (Casey Affleck) gets murdered after getting involved in a gambling racket, and it becomes all about revenge. Forest Whitaker is circling the role of a sleazy bookie, while Billy Bob Thornton is mentioned as a possible the lead villain. While I keep hearing that Relativity Media is looking for a partner to share production costs, it sounds like the movie might finally happen.
Ingelsby is now writing the remake of the Indonesian action film sensation The Raid for Screen Gems, and Ingelsby landed a preemptive deal from Warner Bros earlier this year for his action script The All-Nighter, which has Roy Lee and Brooklyn Weaver attached as producers. That script focuses on an aging mob hitman is forced to take on his former boss. The guy has to protect his son and family, and winds up on the run from the mob and the authorities with his estranged son.
Compared to those projects, The Signal‘s family film focus is a real departure for Ingelsby. It’s also some belated payback for Indian Paintbrush exec Pruss, who was the first to read The Low Dweller while he was an executive at Focus Features. While that company didn’t end up with the script, Pruss liked it enough to circulate it among agents, which led to WMA signing the neophyte scribe. Now Indian Paintbrush is the benefactor of Pruss’s generosity. Ingelsby’s repped by WME, Energy Entertainment and attorney Jeff Frankel.