EXCLUSIVE: 20th Century Fox has made a two-year first-look pact with Epic, a fledgling online platform designed to be a catalyst for film-centric investigative longform journalism that had formerly been the domain of national magazines. The venture was launched by Joshua Davis and Joshuah Bearman, who between them have made 18 movie option deals for their magazine work, with another two in negotiation. Most memorably, Bearman wrote the Wired magazine story that became the basis for the Ben Affleck-directed Best Picture Oscar winner Argo; and I just wrote recently about Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski signing on to script a Warner Bros movie about software pioneer John McAfee for John Requa and Glenn Ficarra to direct, based on a Wired story written by Davis after he spent weeks with McAfee on his compound in the Belize jungle before the computer wiz was accused of killing a neighbor.
After Davis and Bearman smartly christened their new venture with a column last week by influential New York Timesman David Carr, it put studios in hot pursuit. According to the guys, five studios and one monied indie company met with them before Bearman’s UTA agents and Davis’ agents at Resolution closed the Fox deal with Circle of Confusion’s Rick Jacobs, who manages both journos. I’m told this pact will include first looks on articles that Davis and Bearman do on their own, even those not on the Epic site. (more…)