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McG and his Wonderland Sound and Vision banner have unfurled at Warner Bros. Pictures with a three-year, first-look deal to direct and produce features for the studio. The director also has lined up a slate of projects, the first one being the Michael Arndt-scripted “Nightcrawlers.”
McG most recently directed the Warners football drama “We Are Marshall,” starring Matthew McConaughey and Matthew Fox. While the movie only grossed $43.5 million at the boxoffice, it was a positive experience for both sides.
“Working with McG on ‘Marshall’ was an incredible experience; we were really impressed with his vision and passion for the project,” Warners president of production Jeff Robinov said. “He’s an amazing storyteller with a really unique point of view, so of course we were thrilled to make this deal with him.”
Wonderland already has a television deal with Warner Bros. Television and was behind the CW’s “Supernatural” and “Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll.” The company also is producing the upcoming NBC comedy “Chuck.” Wonderland became a TV powerhouse with the Fox hit “The O.C.” Wonderland’s film production team comprises Jeanne Allgood, David Manpearl and Andy Shapiro.
“We want to produce three movies a year,” McG said. “I want to direct one of them every year, and we want to go into a run of extreme productivity with Wonderland-branded pictures. We’ve had success on the TV front, and we want to match that profile in the film space, and Jeff (Robinov) and Alan (Horn) are very agreeable to that.”
First on the docket will be “Nightcrawlers,” a visual effects-laden action-comedy written by Arndt, who won an Oscar for writing “Little Miss Sunshine.” “Nightcrawlers” is about a neurotic father who must turn to his childhood tormentor in order to face his lifelong fear of the dark and the monsters who have haunted him.
“It’s a buddy comedy where what kids are afraid of turns out to be real, and our guys have to go into these fearscapes and battle all these monsters,” said McG, who is eyeing a November start for the production.
Wonderland will produce with JC Spink and Chris Bender of Benderspink. Charlie Gogolak is co-producing. Brian Lynch was the original writer.
McG also will direct and produce with “Harry Potter” producer David Heyman “Yucatan,” a film to be based on almost 1,700 pages of recently discovered notes and storyboards done by the late Steve McQueen for a passion project he planned to star in. Warners hired Paul Scheuring (“Prison Break”) to write the script for the heist drama, which centers on learning to respect the indigenous culture of the Yucatan Peninsula. McQueen’s son Chad and godson Lance Sloane are exec producing.
“Like any suburban pussy, I’m infatuated with Steve McQueen,” McG said.
He also is developing an untitled spy project that reunites him with “Marshall” producer Basil Iwanyk. Academy Award nominee Phil Alden Robinson (“Field of Dreams”) is rewriting the script.
McG made a name for himself in the music video world and broke into features with the 2000 hit “Charlie’s Angels,” the movie version of the popular 1970s television show. He also directed the sequel, “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.”
Wonderland had a first-look deal with Columbia Pictures that expired last year.
McG and Wonderland are repped by Endeavor, Management 360 and Sloane Offer Weber and Dern.
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