Summit boards 'Elevator' screenplay

Marc Haimes' thriller brought to studio by Mark Gordon

Straight to the penthouse, please.

Summit Entertainment is in the process of scooping up former DreamWorks exec Marc Haimes' original screenplay "Elevator Men." The producer deals are still in flux but would include Mark Gordon Prods. execs Gordon and Josh McLaughlin ("12 Rounds"). Gordon took the script into Summit.

Summit's Erik Feig and Jean Song will oversee for the studio.

The dark thriller, which likely will change titles, takes a less romanticized look at the human-vampire interactions depicted in such recent movies and series as Summit's "Twilight" and HBO's "True Blood."

"It's a reaction to all of these stories now -- TV shows and movies -- that play this kind of romantic, fantastical, sexy aspect of getting involved with monsters," Haimes said. "This is the dark, sinister version of what really happens when you decide you're going to get close to really bad things. That fantasy element is something I wanted to look at and play the exact opposite: the grim reality of bedding down with a monster." The creatures play diabolical mind games with people, including one that involves an elevator, hence the title.

Haimes, repped by WMA and Benderspink, was an executive at DreamWorks for more than 13 years until the studio split from parent Paramount last year. While there, he developed such thrillers as "Collateral," "Red Eye" and "Disturbia" for the studio as well as "Hotel for Dogs" and "Transformers."

This is Haimes' first screenplay. He is finishing a second spec called "Jitters," a family film he describes as in the "traditional Amblin" mold.

"It's a totally different muscle," Haimes said of segueing from the studio creative side to original storytelling. "It's like Dave Grohl playing drums for Nirvana and then taking on a different instrument in the Foo Fighters."

The ICM-repped Gordon was nominated for an Oscar for producing "Saving Private Ryan." He also produced "The Day After Tomorrow" and "Talk to Me."

Summit most recently released "Knowing" and "Push." Last year's "Twilight" has grossed $351 million worldwide.
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