Amblin Lands Rights To The Simon Rich Short Story ‘Stage 13’ With Edgar Wright On Board To Direct

Edgar Wright, Simon Rich AP

EXCLUSIVE: Amblin Partners has closed a deal with Edgar Wright to develop, direct and executive produce Stage 13, with Saturday Night Live alum Simon Rich writing the script and also producing.

Producing along with Rich is Wright’s producing partner Nira Park, who co-founded Complete Fiction with Wright and has produced his projects from early in his film and television career including Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, The World’s End and Baby Driver. Working Title co-chairman Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, who have had a working relationship with Wright since 2004’s Shaun of the Dead, will also produce.

Based on Rich’s short story of the same title, the film follows the ghost of a silent film-era actress that has haunted the titular soundstage of a backlot for decades. After a struggling director meets the ghost, they find an unexpected kinship and team to make their mark on the world.

This comes following the news Deadline broke last month that Wright would also be directing The Chain for Universal after the studio closed a massive seven-figure deal for rights to the Adrian McKinley novel. Jane Goldman will write the script for that adaptation that tells the story of Rachel, who learns that her 11-year-old daughter has been kidnapped. The only way to get her back is to kidnap another child. Her daughter will be released only when that next victim’s parents kidnap another child. If Rachel doesn’t kidnap another child, or if that child’s parents don’t kidnap a child, her daughter will be murdered. She is now part of The Chain, a terrifying and meticulous chain letter-like kidnapping scheme that turns parents from victims into criminals.

Wright’s next film Last Night in Soho was just rescheduled by Focus Features to bow next spring. That film stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie and Matt Smith.

Rich, a five-time Emmy nominee, has published two novels and five short-story collections. His work appears frequently in the New Yorker. The short story Stage 13 was originally featured in Rich’s collection Hits and Misses, which won the 2019 Thurber Prize for American Humor.

Jeb Brody, Amblin Partners’ President of Production, and Creative Executive John Buderwitz will oversee the project for the studio.

Wright is repped by CAA and Independent Talent Group, and Rich is repped by UTA and Levine Greenberg Talent Agency.

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