DW has options on projects still at Par

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Another piece of the DreamWorks-Paramount divorce puzzle — identifying those Paramount films that DreamWorks will have an option to stay involved in — has become clearer.

As part of the studios' separation agreement, projects remaining on Melrose Avenue that the new DreamWorks will have an option to co-finance and co-distribute (through its deal with Universal) include "No Man's Land"; the Demetri Martin-penned comedy "Will"; "Love Me or Leave Me"; "Blood and Thunder," about 19th century adventurer Kit Carson; "Follies"; "Little Britain"; "The Rivals," with a screenplay by Robin Swicord; "Dominion," produced by Nina Jacobson; "Spydust"; and an untitled Diablo Cody-scripted comedy from an original Steven Spielberg idea.

Previously reported in this batch were "Matt Helm," "Imaginary Friends," "Children of the Lamp" and a President Lincoln biopic scripted by Tony Kushner that was in the Paramount development fold before Spielberg showed an interest.

Paramount plans to distribute 20 films in 2009.

Meanwhile, former DW production president Adam Goodman, now a production chief along with Brad Weston at Paramount, has acquired rights to the graphic novel "Agnes Quill: An Anthology of Mystery" for Thor Freudenthal to direct. Evan Spiliotopoulos is adapting the Dave Roman work.

Goodman also will oversee all DreamWorks-developed projects remaining in active development at Paramount. Those number about 100.

For its part, DreamWorks likely will keep new acquisitions rare and focus on ready-to-go, well-packaged projects in the next few months as the company staffs up and finalizes financing. Development will continue on the 17 projects DreamWorks took with it after the split that Paramount will have the option to co-finance and co-distribute.

Those projects include "Button Man," "Escape Artist," "Ghost in the Shell," "Motorcade," "Hereafter," "St. Agnes' Stand," "The Damned," "Rainbow Bridge," "Real Steel," "The Kidnapping of Eduardo Mortado," "Atlantis Rising," "Cowboys & Aliens," "Dinner With Schmucks," "Deep Sea Cowboys," "The 39 Clues," "Quartermain" and "The Trial of the Chicago 7," which the studio is looking to have Ben Stiller direct.

Several of these have been floated to one degree or another since the studio acquired them as potential Spielberg directing gigs. But the director is casting his net wider for an outside project that he can helm while the new studio retools. DreamWorks' first new project is not expected to go before cameras until September.

Additionally, Spielberg will remain an executive producer on four wholly owned Paramount properties, including "Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen" and "When Worlds Collide."
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