EXCLUSIVE: After a heated auction, Universal Pictures has landed a package for an untitled drama that has David Leitch directing Ryan Gosling. Drew Pearce, who wrote for Universal the Leitch-directed hit Fast and Furious spinoff Hobbs & Shaw, is set to write the script. The deal is seven figures.
Guymon Casady is producing through Entertainment 360, along with Gosling producing through his company and 87North partner Kelly McCormick. Several other studios also were in the mix including Netflix, Paramount and MGM. Universal has a strong relationship with Leitch and McCormick, whose 87North is in a first-look deal there.
For Leitch, the project is extremely personal. He is the rare stuntman and stunt coordinator who transitioned to become an A-list filmmaker; his John Wick co-director Chad Stahelski is another, and not many before that dating back to Hal Needham. Leitch, who also directed Deadpool 2, has for a while been trying to find the right project in the stuntman action arena, a genre which drew momentum thanks to Brad Pitt’s Oscar-winning turn as stuntman Cliff Booth in the Quentin Tarantino-directed Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
For Gosling, he’s clearly intrigued by the stuntman genre playing one in the thriller Drive and drama Place Beyond the Pines.
Entertainment 360, the content arm of Management 360, got the ball rolling on the package by working hand in hand with with McCormick and Leitch as far as attaching Pearce, developing the movie, and then helping attach Gosling before taking it to the marketplace.
Entertainment 360’s Geoff Shaevitz and Pearce will exec produce.
Leitch and Gosling have been plenty busy, but the plan is to make this film quickly. Leitch is currently in pre-production on the Sony action pic Bullet Train starring Brad Pitt while Gosling has also signed on to star with Chris Evans in The Gray Man at Netflix with Joe and Anthony Russo directing, and he is attached to an untitled astronaut pic at MGM with Lord & Miller.
Project is being overseen by Peter Cramer and Matt Reilly for Universal.
Leitch, McCormick and 87North are repped by CAA. Gosling is repped by CAA and Pearce is repped by WME.