WB cracks open writer's 'Box'


Warner Bros. has pre-emptively picked up "Black Box," a spec from UTA assistant-turned-screenwriter Brad Holloway. Lorenzo di Bonaventura is producing.

The action thriller tells the story of an FBI agent who, when a plane goes down off the coast of Texas, refuses to believe that it was an accident.

Matt Reilly is overseeing for Warners.

Holloway, a recent graduate of the journalism program at the University of Missouri, originally drove out to Los Angeles to be a novelist, ending up in an unpaid internship at Impact Talent before applying to the UTA trainee program.

"I didn't think about scripts too much, but when I was working on a lit desk at UTA, I thought, 'Here I am telling people that I can write stuff that I feel is comparable to what I see selling, and I should really put up or shut up,' " Holloway said.

He left the agency after about seven months, working on a movie set in Budapest for a month before returning to California to put pen to paper. When he had a draft written, he turned to his old bosses at UTA for representation.

That spec made the rounds, and though it was warmly received, one comment dogged it: that "Box" was set in the Middle East and, in the deluge of similarly set projects, companies had had their fill. Holloway rejigged the script with the help of Mark Vahradian and David Ready at Di Bonaventura Pictures to "what I feel is a very commercial, smart action movie that takes place entirely on U.S. soil."

Still, even with indications the script was going to sell, he had to take temp jobs in order to make ends meet. "I was taking all these writer meetings, but I was still broke," he said, adding, "This is the first of many more to come I hope. I have a lot of ideas."

Holloway is additionally repped by Management 360 and attorney Joel McKuin.