Mandate enters 'Gangland'

Nacho Vigalondo set to direct; Pat Healy to pen script

Nacho Vigalondo will direct “Gangland,” an action comedy based on his idea that will be written by Pat Healy. The project is from Mandate Pictures and Steve Zaillian via their Film Rites co-venture.

The story revolves around a team of video-game developers who get in over their heads after they promise to deliver the most realistic game of all time, titled “Gangland,” and soon find themselves having to survive by their own wits in a real-life criminal underworld.

Zaillian will produce and Nathan Kahane will executive produce. Garrett Basch brought in the project and will oversee in a producing capacity with Tendo Nagenda.

Film Rites’ aim is to produce projects by Zaillian, the Oscar-winning writer of “Schindler’s List” and “Gangs of New York,” in addition to emerging writers and filmmakers. Zaillian already was a fan of Vigalondo’s work in Spain; he and Basch are producing an English-language remake of his Spanish film “Timecrimes,” set up at UA/MGM.

Film Rites has a first-look deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Actor-turned-scribe Healy, repped by WME and Brillstein Entertainment, most recently wrote several episodes of HBO’s “In Treatment.” His scripts “Snow Ponies” and “Strange Skies” were included on the Black List, an annual listing of the most-liked scripts in Hollywood.

Vigalondo, repped by ICM and Miners Mills Entertainment, received an Oscar nomination for his short film “7:35 in the Morning.” “Timecrimes”  made its U.S. debut at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.