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Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci and their K/O Paper Products shingle are in negotiations to join David Ellison‘s Skydance Productions in what is being described as “a uniquely structured deal.”
Skydance declined to comment and no additional details are available at this time. But sources say the deal goes beyond the traditional first-look arrangement and will give the writer-producers wider creative room.
Skydance and Paper Products have an existing relationship. As part of its pact with Paramount Pictures, Skydance is co-financing and co-producing the Star Trek sequel, which Kurtzman and Orci are writing and producing with Cowboys & Aliens collaborator Damon Lindelof. Skydance and the duo also are producing an adaptation of the Tom Clancy novel Without Remorse, which Shawn Ryan has written, for Paramount.
Kurtzman and Orci first signed a two-year, first-look producing deal with DreamWorks in April 2009, and their current deal runs until the end of the year. The duo co-wrote and produced the multi-studio sci-fi film Cowboys & Aliens, which underperformed this summer, and wrote the scripts for the first two Transformers movies, which were released through Paramount to billions of dollars in grosses.
Their first effort for DreamWorks as producers was the thriller Eagle Eye, which grossed $178 million worldwide in 2008. Before that, Kurtzman and Orci co-wrote the Michael Bay-directed film The Island, which DreamWorks released in 2005.
Kurtzman’s directorial debut, the drama Welcome to People, is recently wrapped and awaiting a release date. The duo produced and co-wrote the screenplay with Jody Lambert. Beyond that, the pair has a collection of high-profile projects set up at DreamWorks that they will presumably stay on as producers even if they move on to Skydance.
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