EXCLUSIVE: Roland Emmerich has been at the center of some of the biggest spec script deals I have ever written about. Usually, he’s the co-writer and some studio is peeling off millions of dollars and making huge gross commitments to one of his global-scale adventure films. Today, Emmerich has completed a spec script deal, but this time, he’s the buyer. I hear his Centropolis Entertainment has acquired rights to an untitled action thriller scripted by actor-writers Nicolas Wright and James A. Woods. Centropolis executive Marco Shepherd, who brought the project to the company, will produce. The film is set on a diving ship in the Arctic.
This is a script that Emmerich will likely eye as a potential directing assignment, but that hasn’t been determined and he’s plenty busy. He’s prepping to next direct Stonewall, a Jon Robin Baitz-scripted drama about a young man’s political awakening in the backdrop of the Stonewall riots. Emmerich is simultaneously prepping with former partner Dean Devlin the sequel to Independence Day. Deadline told you that Will Smith decided not to return, but Fox has set the film for a July 1, 2016 release date, so the clock is certainly ticking.
Wright and Woods are best known as actors and are also writing partners. They previously collaborated on a TV pilot titled Almost Vacant that was sold to Comedy Central. Wright, repped by WME, McKeon Myones and attorney Bruce Gellman, most recently appeared in Emmerich’s White House Down. Woods most recently had a recurring role on Syfy’s Being Human. He’s repped by Thruline and attorney Bruce Gellman.