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The Weinstein Co. has picked up the screen rights to “A Speck in the Sea,” a maritime survival account by Paul Tough that appeared in The New York Times Magazine earlier this month.
Rachael Horovitz, one of the producers of Moneyball, will produce the adaptation with Jason Blum — the producer best known for his successful low-budget horror movies — as well as Harvey Weinstein.
“Speck, ” which was published Jan. 2, told the story of 45-year-old lobster fisherman John Aldridge, who at 3:30 a.m. one morning slipped off his boat and fell into the Atlantic. The boat, on autopilot, kept on chugging, and his partner, Anthony Sosinski, wouldn’t wake up for another few hours, so Aldridge was left behind, with no life vest, in the dark deep waters, 40 miles south of Montauk, a fishing town on the east side of Long Island.
The story told of how he used his boots as flotation devices and tried to find a buoy, while back on land the Coast Guard was mobilized but looking in the wrong place — going on predictions of where he would have fallen earlier in the night rather than 3:30 a.m.
Other fishermen jumped in to save one of their own, with 21 commercial boats volunteering for the search, and the Coast Guard, which usually declines the public’s help, said “yes” since the search area was so large. Still, everyone was looking in areas far from where the man actually was.
Aldridge, meanwhile, had by then been fighting for life for 12 hours, was blistered, covered in shrimp and sea lice, surrounded by flocks of petrels, and slowly resigning to a watery death.
Read the story here.
Sources saying that Tom Rothman‘s TriStar Productions was also in the mix to acquire the article.
Bob Weinstein will exec produce.
Last year showed that survival tales can not only be good box office but also awards contenders in the hands of the right filmmakers. Gravity saw Sandra Bullock fighting to survive in space, while All Is Lost, a more apt comparison to “Speck,” featured Robert Redford adrift in the vastness of an ocean (though he still had his boat).
Horovitz’s other credits include the Brittany Murphy romantic comedy Little Black Book and Alexander Payne’s About Schmidt.
For Blum, Speck will reunite the producer with Harvey Weinstein, for whom he worked in the 1990s.
UTA and McCormick & Williams repped Tough, Aldridge and Sosinski.
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