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Universal has won a bidding war to pick up The Disciple Program, a thriller script that has Mark Wahlberg attached to star.
Morten Tyldum, who directed the Norwegian thriller Headhunters, is attached to direct the project, which was written by newcomer Tyler Marceca.
The screenplay centers on a man who begins an investigation into his wife’s mysterious death, only to find that the mystery goes much deeper than he imagined.
Wahlberg and Steve Levinson are producing.
The real story here is Marceca. An unsigned writer from Brooklyn, he wrote ten pages as part of a screenwriting contest run by The Writer’s Store. He later completed the script and submitted it to an online script review site called Script Shadow.
In most cases, the site features scripts that are already making the rounds throughout Hollywood. Disciple Program came out of left field and in February became the only amateur screenplay to reach the site’s top-ten list.
That caused a veritable feeding frenzy at the talent agencies, management companies and studios. According to one insider, two separate parties said they repped the writer even though they didn’t. Other sources say Warners made a bid on the script but then WME signed Marceca, pulling back the script and deciding to package it first.
With Walhberg and Tyldum attached, WME finally took the package out late last week.
The bidding came down to Universal and Columbia, according to insiders.
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Sterling K. Brown