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Paramount has pre-bought North American rights to Amy Adams‘ Story of Your Life for a hefty $20 million.
The project puts the studio in business with emerging director Denis Villenueve, who impressed with Prisoners. Villenueve is currently getting ready to shoot Sicario, a gritty thriller starring Benicio Del Toro and Emily Blunt.
Paramount closed the deal just as the Cannes Film Market, where Glen Basner‘s FilmNation is representing foreign rights, gets underway. The pact, brokered by WME, FilmNation and David Linde‘s Lava Bear Pictures, will be a powerful selling point when Basner shops Story of Your Life to international buyers. Paramount is also in talks to distribute the film in China.
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FilmNation is financing and producing Story of Your Life with Lava Bear and Shawn Levy‘s 21 Laps. Eric Heisserer wrote the adapted script.
Based on the short story by Nebula and Hugo Award-winning author Ted Chiang, Story of Your Life will star Adams as an expert linguist who is recruited by the military to determine whether a group of aliens crash-landing on Earth come in peace or are a threat. As she learns to communicate with the aliens, she begins experiencing vivid flashbacks that become the key to unlocking the greater mystery about the true purpose of their visit.
Aaron Ryder and Karen Lunder will oversee production of the film on behalf of FilmNation, while Tory Metzger shepherds on behalf of Lava Bear. Dan Levine and Dan Cohen are spearheading for 21 Laps.
Adams is coming off an Oscar nomination for her work in American Hustle and has another buzzworthy film in the can: Big Eyes, directed by Tim Burton, in which she portrays painter Margaret Keane. The Weinstein Co. releases Big Eyes on Dec. 25.
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