EXCLUSIVE: Netflix just scooped up the spec Dorothy & Alice in a hotly competitive bidding situation with a number of producers who were after it for its franchise potential. The project was picked up for producer Bryan Unkeless at Clubhouse Pics who is on a roll right now with the critically acclaimed I, Tonya. Written by Justin Merz, Dorothy & Alice is the fantastical friendship between two iconic figures from literature. Which makes sense as Merz is an English teacher at a Santa Monica school.

The logline: Haunted by nightmares of Oz’s impending destruction, Dorothy Gale finds herself in a home for others like her with troubling, vivid dreams. While she is there, she meets a mysterious girl, Alice –  who involves her in a perilous quest to not only save the worlds of imagination — those which we come to realize are real and not just dreams — but the world as we know it.

Unkeless just produced director David Ayer’s Bright with Will Smith, Noomi Rapace and Joel Edgerton and was a co-producer on mega-successful The Hunger Games franchise. But his I, Tonya — which he produced with Tom Ackerley, Steven Rogers, its star Margot Robbie — is getting Oscar buzz already.

Merz, who previously sold his script Topsiders (written with Jonathan Rosenbloom) to Dreamworks and worked on Rose Red at Disney, is repped by Paradigm, The Gotham Group and attorney Matthew Saver.