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Script sales and deals from “American Crime” to “Winter’s Knight”

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"12 Years a Slave" movie poster

Despite all that chatter on the Internet about a feud between “12 Years a Slave” screenwriter, John Ridley, and the picture’s director, Steve McQueen,” Ridley is moving forward with a high-profile T.V. project. Apparently McQueen is ticked off with Ridley for not wanting to share his screenwriting credit.

Ridley won the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar at the 86th Academy Awards last Sunday. McQueen did not leave the ceremony empty-handed. He picked up a gold statuette when the brutal historical drama about slavery in America won Best Picture.  Hmm, they both won awards –Ridley is right to just move on.

Ridley is busy with a drama pilot deal with ABC. He’s the writer, director, and executive producer of “American Crime.” The legal drama involves a racially charged trial and how it affects the private lives of the players.  Felicity Huffman has signed on for a lead role, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Another spec script has sold. Los Angeles based production company, Linsefilm, has picked up the comedy feature, “Pushing Daisy,” about a young woman who learns to step out of her comfort zone with the help of a new female friend. Deadline says the screenplay, by Neal Gumpel and A.J. Benza,will be going out to directors and actors next month.

The most talked about spec script buy, so far this month, is the Sony deal of $1 million for “Winter’s Knight,” by newbie writers, Ben Lustig and Jake Thornton. The story focuses on the origins of Santa Claus and Christmas with a heavy dose of Viking mythology. The movie will be based on the 1902 book, ” The Life And Adventures Of Santa Claus,” by L. Frank Baum the author of  “The Wizard Of Oz.” More on the heated bidding war and the script deal here.

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