EXCLUSIVE: Fox has just made a pre-emptive acquisition of Understand, a sci-fi spec script by Eric Heisserer that is based on a short story by Ted Chiang. 21 Laps will produce. Deal comes after the record-breaking Cannes deal Paramount made to acquire North American and China rights to Story of Your Life, also a project that 21 Laps developed with Heisserer based on a Chiang story. Amy Adams will star in that movie next year with Denis Villeneuve directing. Understand is about a man who is awakened from a coma by an experimental drug that has unforeseen consequences.
Shawn Levy and Dan Levine will produce for 21 Laps, whose veep Dan Cohen will oversee with Fox exec veep Mark Roybal. Levine and Cohen developed both Story Of Your Life and Understand. Heisserer and Chiang are repped by WME.