EXCLUSIVE: M. Night Shyamalan is in talks to re-team with Bruce Willis in Labor Of Love, based on one of the very first scripts Shyamalan sold in his career. The project will be financed by Emmett/Furla/Oasis, which is coming off the twice Oscar-nominated hit Lone Survivor and is prepping the Martin Scorsese-directed Silence. The plan is to start production mid-September in Philadelphia. IM Global’s Stuart Ford is making a deal to sell the picture in Berlin. Randall Emmett and George Furla are producing with Blinding Edge’s Shyamalan and Ashwin Rajan.
Shyamalan and Willis made The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, which are my two favorite films by the director. This project goes back even further, as it was one of the very first screenplays that Shyamalan sold. This one went to Fox in 1993, but it didn’t get made back then because Shyamalan was fighting to get into the director’s chair and the studio wasn’t biting. The script came into play several years ago when Denzel Washington was eyeing it.
It’s a lot closer to Shyamalan’s first script Praying With Anger than the supernatural stuff he did later. In Labor Of Love, Willis will play a Philadelphia book store owner who loses the love of his life in a tragic accident. Never big on words, he becomes haunted by the notion that he never properly told his wife how much he loved her. Since she once asked if he would walk across the country for her, he decides to show her posthumously just how much he did love her. That trek starts from Philadelphia to Pacifica, CA, which was her favorite place. Fox controls the script, but I’m told this is being worked out and should be all sorted by next month when it becomes a hot title in Berlin.
Shyamalan and Emmett/Furla/Oasis are repped by WME, and Willis by CAA.