EXCLUSIVE: After getting a Best Picture nomination for a movie about the race to crack the Enigma Code, The Imitation Game producer Black Bear Pictures will now make a film about the race to cure the polio epidemic in the ’50s. Teddy Schwarzman’s Black Bear won an auction and will pay mid-six figures to team with Pacific View Management & Production to produce and fully finance The Impossible War, a spec script by Robert Specland. It’s the true story of Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin as they raced against time and each other to come up with a desperately needed cure. Black Bear’s Schwarzman and Ben Stillman will produce with Pacific View’s Peter Dealbert.
Specland hit The Black List with Nyad, an inspirational character piece about the famous swimmer Diana Nyad who, after several failed attempts, succeeded in the incredibly difficult task of swimming from Cuba to Florida. He parlayed that into writing shows for 20th Century Fox and Fox broadcast, and has the legal drama The Verdict in picked-up contention with Neal Baer producing. The Impossible War marks his first feature sale. Specland is repped by UTA, Dealbert of Pacific View Management and attorney Fred Toczek of Toczek Suddelson.
Black Bear just produced the Dee Rees-directed Mudbound, the biggest deal of Sundance, and just hit theaters with the Matthew McConaughey-starrer Gold. Production stars next week on Light Of My Life with Casey Affleck starring, and Black Bear recently wrapped the George Clooney-directed Suburbicon, with Matt Damon and Julianne Moore starring.