EXCLUSIVE: In a seven-figure deal, David Ellison’s Skydance Productions has pre-emptively purchased an untitled global disaster film spec script written by Dean Devlin and Paul Guyot. Devlin will make his feature directing debut. Skydance’s Ellison and Dana Goldberg will produce with Devlin and his Electric Entertainment team of Marc Roskin and Rachel Olschan.
Devlin returns to the global destruction sandbox he played in when he and then-partner Roland Emmerich sold their Independence Day spec for millions, a guaranteed Fox green light and release date, and a global gross north of $800 million. They continued the destruction with Godzilla. While Emmerich continued crushing the planet with The Day After and 2012 (he and Devlin are working on two Independence Day sequels), Devlin formed Electric Entertainment and has put together movies (one was Flyboys, which featured avid aviator Ellison onscreen), and the Noah Wyle telepic series The Librarian. Devlin is currently exec producer of the TNT series Leverage. Guyot, Devlin’s co-writer on the spec, is supervising producer of that series.
Neither Devlin nor Ellison would reveal how this picture will destroy the world, but they confirmed the deal, with Ellison calling Devlin “a premier creator of original event entertainment. I’m thrilled to be working with him on his directorial debut, as this project is perfect for both of our sensibilities.”
Per Devlin: “Since meeting David, I have admired and respected his creative work an am excited for the opportunity to collaborate with him on this upcoming project. This film is very important to me and I’m so grateful for the chance to make this with people I know and consider friends.”
Skydance is coming off the Tom Cruise-starrer Jack Reacher, with that film’s director, Christopher McQuarrie, working with Cruise and JJ Abrams on the next installment of Mission: Impossible for Skydance and Paramount. Skydance and Paramount have a huge 2013 in store, with G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation, Star Trek Into Darkness, World War Z and Jack Ryan also slotted for release this year.
Devlin is repped by CAA and attorney Doug Stone; Guyot by UTA, Circle of Confusion and attorney Gregg Gellman.