In a major seven-figure deal, Legendary has won the furious bidding war for the China-set action movie Skyscraper that has Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson attached to star.
The package also includes Rawson Marshall Thurber as director and writer (he directed Johnson in June’s New Line comedy Central Intelligence) and producer Beau Flynn, who has worked with Johnson on several major projects, among them Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, San Andreas and the recently wrapped Baywatch.
Skyscraper hit the town earlier this week and immediately caused a sensation, with bids quickly hitting the seven-figure mark as Universal, Sony and Paramount joined Legendary in the fray. Legendary, acquired by Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda in January, came out on top, paying at least $3 million for the script alone.
Based on an original idea of Thurber’s, the project logline is being kept under wraps but has been described as an adventure thriller that takes place in a mega-skyscraper set in China. The planned project also is said to have shades of Die Hard, the classic Bruce Willis action movie set in an office building, as well as Towering Inferno, the 1974 disaster movie that starred Paul Newman and Steve McQueen and featured a gargantuan office building engulfed in flames.
Johnson and Flynn seem to be doing their part to keep original tentpoles alive in a town awash in remakes, reboots and sequels. Johnson’s Central Intelligence is being released in June, with The Conjuring 2, Now You See Me 2, Finding Dory and Independence Day: Resurgence among the other high-profile releases that month. Johnson and Flynn were also behind San Andreas, the earthquake disaster movie which was Warner Bros.’ highest-grossing movie last year.
Flynn will produce Skyscraper via his FlynnPictureCo. with Johnson’s Seven Bucks Productions. Thurber will also produce. Universal will distribute per its deal with Legendary.
Wendy Jacobson will oversee for FlynnPictureCo.
Johnson is repped by WME and Gang Tyre, while Thurber is repped by WME and Hansen Jacobson.