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Just as the week is coming to a close, Sony Pictures has given the sleepy spec market a jolt with an acquisition.
The studio has picked up The Eden Project, a sci-fi spec from Black List writer Christina Hodson. Tobey Maguire will produce via his Material production banner as well as Maguire’s Material mate Matthew Plouffe.
Sony is keeping the plot details for Eden guarded by a serpent, but it is a sci-fi action film centered around two female characters. The script also is intended to be the first of a conceived trilogy.
Sources say the deal for the spec was in the $750,000 range.
Columbia Pictures president Hannah Minghella orchestrated the deal for the studio in a competitive situation and will oversee the project.
Eden reteams the studio with the production company with which it is in preproduction on YA adaptation The 5th Wave. The movie is due to start shooting in October and will star Chloe Moretz and Liev Schreiber.
It is also the second major deal for Material in recent weeks, as it follows the sale of chess drama Pawn Sacrifice to new-fangled distributor Bleecker Street. The movie, which stars Maguire and is directed by Ed Zwick, was coming off a high-profile premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.
Hodson is known for two scripts that landed on The Black List two years in a row. Shut In, a psychological thriller, was on the list in 2012 and picked up by David Linde‘s Lava Bear. The following year, her creepy script Seed landed on the list and is now being produced by Temple Hill and Peter Safran.
The former development exec also has the erotic thriller Unforgettable set up at Warner Bros., with Denise DiNovi producing and Amma Asante (Belle) attached to direct.
Hodson is repped by CAA; Tobin Babst at Kaplan/Perrone; and Ziffren, Brittenham. Material is repped by WME’s Warren Zavala and Sarah Self as well as Gretchen Rush of Hansen, Jacobson.
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