balecEXCLUSIVE: Fox has just closed a mid- against high-six-figure deal for A Better Place, a spec script by Brad Ingelsby that will be produced by Scott Free’s Ridley Scott and Michael Schaefer, with Michael Pruss exec producing. This amounts to a reteam for Ingelsby and Scott.

Ingelsby was a 27-year-old AFI grad living at home with his parents in Pennsylvania and working for his father’s insurance business when his very first script, Low Dweller, sold for $650,000 against $1.1 million to Relativity in 2008, with Scott attached to direct and Leonardo DiCaprio to star. Scott and DiCaprio both dropped out but remained producers, and the project eventually became Out Of The Furnace, the gritty drama that Scott Cooper directed with Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana and Willem Dafoe. It was a throwback movie that proved too rough for mainstream audiences, a lot like the Cormac McCarthy-scripted The Counselor, which Fox made and Scott did direct. Pruss helped Ingelsby get his Low Dweller spec seen around town, and this is his third project with the writer, after Hold On To Me, which James Marsh is directing this fall, and The Signal, which is being developed by Paramount. Ingelsby is coming off scripting Run All Night, which Jaume Collet-Serra directs for Warner Bros with Liam Neeson starring, and Merry Men at DreamWorks.

Related: Fleming Q&As ‘Out Of The Furnace’ Helmer Scott Cooper

A Better Place is an elevated gritty thriller in the vein of A Simple Plan, and Scott Free and Fox will look to set a director quickly. Fox exec Mark Roybal will steer it. WME, manager Brooklyn Weaver and attorney Jeff Frankel rep Ingelsby.

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