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Universal Pictures is in talks to option the rights to Michael De Luca Productions and Immersive Pictures’ untitled John Lennon and Yoko Ono movie project.
Dallas Buyers Club director Jean-Marc Vallee is attached to helm and edit the spec script written by Oscar nominee Anthony McCarten. Vallee, who just completed work on HBO’s Big Little Lies and Sharp Objects series, will also rewrite the screenplay alongside McCarten (The Theory of Everything, Darkest Hour).
Ono will produce alongside Michael De Luca, Josh Bratman and McCarten. In 1981, Lennon was gunned down in front of his New York City apartment, where Ono still lives, by Mark David Chapman. Lennon was 40.
Vallee and his producing partner Nathan Ross will also produce the untitled project through their newly launched production company, Crazyrose. The Lennon and Ono project marks Vallee’s return to filmmaking after directing the first season of Big Little Lies and Sharp Objects. He remains an executive producer on Big Little Lies‘ second season, with Andrea Arnold taking over as director.
The film project came about after Bratman lobbied Ono to bring the story of her relationship with Lennon to the screen with De Luca. McCarten worked with all three to write the story on spec.
Ross brought the project to Vallee, who then met with Ono. Bruce Kaufman of Wood Hollow Pictures will executive produce the film.
Vallee and Ross are repped by David Weber of Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern LLP. McCarten is repped by CAA and Myman Greenspan Fox Rosenberg Mobasser Younger & Light LLP.
Ono is repped by Jonas Herbsman of Shukat Arrow Hafer Weber & Herbsman LLP.
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