EXCLUSIVE: FilmNation Entertainment emerged from a competitive auction with a deal for the spec Life Itself, a script that Dan Fogelman wrote and will direct. FilmNation will fully finance, produce and handle international sales for the film, and Temple Hill’s Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey will produce with FilmNation. WME will handle the US distribution rights. Fogelman also will produce the film, which is on a fast track: pre-production will begin in December with principal photography set to start in March in Spain and New York. Fogelman will start casting up right away.
The script is a multi-generational love story that weaves together a number of characters whose lives intersect over the course of decades from the streets of New York to the Spanish countryside and back. Fogelman emerged from writing the animated films Cars, Bolt and Tangled to script Crazy, Stupid, Love, Last Vegas and the semi-autobiographical The Guilt Trip. Fogelman made his directorial debut on Danny Collins, released last year with Al Pacino, Annette Bening, Christopher Plummer, Bobby Cannavale, Jennifer Garner and Josh Peck.
FilmNation CEO Glen Basner confirmed the deal and said: “Dan Fogelman has one of the most original voices in cinema today. He’s got a gift for telling stories that are both surprising and moving, and we’re so excited to make this film with him and our friends Marty and Wyck at Temple Hill.”
This is Fogelman’s first spec in a while, as he has been busy writing for television. He’ll have two new drama series debuting in the 2016-17 season, both which he created and will exec produce: This Is Us, directed by John Requa and Glenn Ficarra, is coming from NBC and 20th, and Pitch, produced in cooperation with Major League Baseball, is coming from Fox and 20th. Fogelman is repped by WME, Management 360, and Hansen Jacobson.