EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has optioned an untitled pitch hatched by Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer, who will produce alongside executive producer Anna Culp. They’ve set Jeff & Michael Zimbalist to write and direct a thriller set in Colombia’s lawless mining region. The gangster saga centers on the mystery of the world’s largest emerald. The Zimbalists, writing the script with Zack Akers, are Emmy-winners who’ve done films for HBO, MTV, PBS, ESPN, Channel 4UK, BBC and BET. They wrote, produced and directed The Two Escobars as part of ESPN’s 30 For 30, the docu Youngstown Boys, and Arnold’s Blueprint about Arnold Schwarzenegger. They’re teamed with Imagine on Pele, the story of the Brazilian soccer legend, which the Zimbalists are directing.

Universal’s Mark Sourian and Chloe Yellin are overseeing for Universal and Alexandre Dauman and Culp are shepherding for Imagine. The Zimbalists and Akers are repped by WME.