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20th Century Fox is re-upping its first-look deal with Steve Zaillian and Garrett Basch‘s Film Rites.
The move will extend the relationship, which has spawned such projects as the upcoming Ridley Scott Biblical tale Exodus, for two years.
Film Rites has become an important partner for Fox, which is looking to increasingly marry genre and quality. Zaillian and Basch are known for pursuing elevated fare with a commercial sensibility like the spy thriller Red Sparrow (Darren Aronofsky recently stepped aside after trying unsuccessfully to secure final cut) as well the sci-fi project Wool, an e-book sensation written by Hugh Howey. Both projects have been set up at Fox.
In 2012, Fox and Film Rites struck a two-year deal that came on the heels of the studio’s acquisition of Wool. Film Rites also has Deep Water, a thriller written by Zach Helm, in development at Fox 2000. The company also is developing the thriller The Professor, the Bikini Model and the Suitcase Full of Trouble at Fox Searchlight. Other Film Rites projects under the Fox umbrella include The Day Britain Stopped (also with Scott) and Those Who Wish Me Dead.
Film Rites previously was based at Sony, where they made such films as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Moneyball.
Zaillian, who is one of the highest-paid screenwriters in Hollywood, won an Oscar for writing Schindler’s List, Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed movie about the Holocaust.
Film Rites is repped by WME.
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