'Prince' ascending at Intrepid


NEW YORK -- Intrepid Pictures has purchased Dave Kalstein's screenplay "The Prince," a psychological thriller centering on a prep school student framed as a terrorist who seeks revenge on his former classmates.

The production company plans to co-finance the project either through its Universal Pictures/Rogue Pictures first-look deal or with another partner.

Intrepid founders Trevor Macy and Marc Evans paid in the low-six figures for the script and are set to produce the project, with plans to finalize a production deal by mid-2007. The pair developed the idea with Kalstein and commissioned him to write the screenplay.

"It's a modern-day 'Count of Monte Cristo' set in New York's jet-set society," said Kalstein, who based the script on his experiences getting kicked out of prep schools. After the title character is falsely charged with a planned Columbine High School-style attack, he is sent to prison and re-emerges among his old cohorts with a new identity. He plays on their fears and ambitions, ultimately killing them or exposing their secrets in his quest for justice.

"It's set in a culture of privilege and youth and ambition," Kalstein said. "Part of what's enjoyable about the film is watching Paris Hilton and her type of crowd get what they deserve."

Intrepid is about a year into a five-year nonexclusive first-look deal with Universal and Rogue. Intrepid will produce and co-finance three to five features per year with Rogue, Universal and other distributors. The company has produced such Rogue titles as "Waist Deep" and "The Return," with "Balls of Fury" and "The Hitcher" set for release next year.

Intrepid purchased Kalstein's sci-fi thriller novel "Prodigy" in June and hired him to adapt it into a screenplay. Showtime recently ordered a script for the horror-tinged soap opera "The Canyons," co-written and co-created by Kalstein and Bret Easton Ellis.

Kalstein is repped by Paradigm, Fuse Entertainment and Jeff Endlich at Barnes Morris Klein Yorn Barnes & Levine.