Summit Entertainment and David Linde’s Lava Bear are the top two contenders for Bitter Pill, the Scott Z. Burns script that is being shopped as Steven Soderbergh’s likely next film. I’d say Summit is the frontrunner for a script that wasn’t distributed widely. Paramount was the other initial place (producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura’s deal is there), and there are a few equity financiers mulling the project as well, but it’s within a small circle. The film is a potboiler in the Jagged Edge-Basic Instinct mold about a troubled and depressed woman who is taking serious amounts of prescription drugs to deal with the anxiety surrounding the pending release of her husband from prison. Burns wrote it several years ago and set it up at Miramax under the title The Side Effects, and he intended to direct the film. The scribe then got busy with projects from The Bourne Ultimatum to 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea: Captain Nemo, and never got around to it. He’s close with Soderbergh–they’ve done Contagion and The Informant! together and planned to do The Man From U.N.C.L.E before Warner Bros pulled the plug over budget and casting (Warner Bros was not one of the places they took Bitter Pill). Soderbergh read it and sparked to making it his next film. The deal should be done by week’s end. It’s being shopped by UTA and Anonymous Content. Stay tuned.
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