The newly-minted Verve Talent and Literary Agency closed a huge script deal with Lionsgate over the weekend that included big paydays for the screenwriter, Shawn Christensen, and hot teen star, Taylor Lautner. The Internet has been buzzing with chatter about the studio bidding for this project for nearly two weeks now. Nikki Finke’s deadline.com/ Hollywood launched a play-by-play of the auction, who’s in and who’s out, when it kicked off Friday night, February 10.
The screenplay, “Abduction” is a Bourne-style action drama with Taylor attached to play the teenage hero. Taylor has become really, really hot since his break-out role of Jacob in the “Twilight” flicks. The hunky 18-year-old actor is getting all sorts of big money offers. Finke says Taylor has agreed to play a Hasbro toy-inspired hero in “Stretch Armstrong” and another superhero “Max Steel” in a project backed by Mattel. Oh, and he’s committed to two more “Twilight” films as well.
No word yet on Taylor’s salary for “Abduction,” but his price is now somewhere in the $7 million range. The screenwriter, Christensen, is reportedly getting paid nearly a million bucks for his script. That’s good to hear for a couple of reasons. Hey, without the writer all you have is a bunch of bland pages; no story, no nothing. So anytime an agency negotiates a deal that pays the screenwriter serious money is reason to applaud. Also, this spec sale could (hopefully) light a fire under the dormant spec script market.
This is not the first big script sale for Christensen who sold the sci-fi thriller, “Karma Coalition” for somewhere around a million bucks back in 2008. The musician-turned-screenwriter has several projects in the works.
The “Abduction” deal establishes Verve as a serious lit agency in Hollywood. Not bad, for an agency that opened its doors for business last month. A few days after hanging out their shingle, Verve made a deal for a sequel to the hit crime drama, “Four Brothers” (2005) for clients and original screenwriters of the film, David Elliot and Paul Lovett.