EXCLUSIVE: Sparks are commencing and bids are expected to start coming in today on a hot package sent out to financiers earlier this week. Graham Moore has adapted his upcoming novel The Last Days Of Night, and Morten Tyldum has attached himself to direct. Moore won the Oscar for scripting and Tyldum was Oscar nominated for directing The Imitation Game. Moore adapted the Andrew Hodges book on Enigma code cracker Alan Turing on that other movie. Here, Moore has adapted his own book, which Random House has set for September 20 publication as a lead fall title. He previously authored The Sherlockian. Nora Grossman and Ido Ostrowsky of Bristol Automotive are attached to the package as producers.
Like The Imitation Game, this one involves seminal technological geniuses. The publisher describes it as being “about the nature of genius, the cost of ambition, and the battle to electrify America. New York, 1888. The miracle of electric light is in its infancy. Thomas Edison has won the race to the patent office and is suing his only remaining rival, George Westinghouse, for the unheard of sum of one billion dollars. To defend himself, Westinghouse makes a surprising choice in his attorney: He hires an untested twenty-six-year-old fresh out of Columbia Law School named Paul Cravath. The task facing Cravath is beyond daunting. Edison proves to be a formidable, wily, and dangerous opponent. Yet this young, unknown attorney shares with his famous opponent a compulsion to win at all costs. How will he do it? As he takes greater and greater risks, he’ll find that everyone in his path is playing their own game, and no one is quite who they seem.” Woven into the tale are Nikola Tesla, Alexander Graham Bell, Stanford White and other technological titans of the late 19th century.
The hope is to electrify the town the way that the Max Landis script Bright did with its package of David Ayer, Will Smith and Joel Edgerton. While Tyldum’s latest pic, the Jennifer Lawrence-Chris Pratt-starrer Passengers, is generating high expectations at Sony, buyers are weighing the potential competing project over at The Weinstein Company, The Current War, which reportedly has Benedict Cumberbatch to play Edison and possibly Jake Gyllenhaal as Westinghouse in the race to electrify America. Me And Earl And The Dying Girl’s Alfonso Gomez-Rejon is attached to direct.
CAA went out with the Last Days Of Night script, repping Moore, who is repped for publishing by ICM Partners and who is managed by Think Tank Management. WME reps Tyldum with Anonymous Content. Stay tuned, as this could be a big one.