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Mark Wahlberg Hacks Into Universal Project; New Regency Build ‘Empire’ with ‘Source Code’ Scribe

Written by on December 12, 2012 

Mark Wahlberg is at it again with his frequent producer, Stephen Levinson, as THR have news on a project being set up at Universal. While the project is currently without a title, they’ve optioned rights to David Kushner‘s GQ article, The Hacker is Watching, which they expect to craft into a youth-oriented thriller — so there may not be room for the most famous man with an attached credit. At least the guy’s showing a little grace in not automatically setting something up for himself.

Maybe that’s because something worthwhile is in the project’s DNA. Universal are moving right ahead on this one, having tapped the scribe behind the Birds remake (also: there’s a Birds remake?), Jonathan Herman, to translate the true story of “an anonymous, ruthless, highly skilled hacker who targets the student body of a large suburban high school.” What happened was probably a more straigthforward story than what they’ll come to make, but it’s a film — embellish to a certain degree, if need be.

Next up, THR have information on another action-ish project from some prominent names. According to them, Source Code writer Ben Ripley is reteaming with that film’s producer, Mark Gordon, on the former’s spec screenplay, Empire; New Regency have acquired the project, which will see them team up with The Mark Gordon Company (guess who runs that) as producers. All that’s noted is something of a mix between The Usual Suspects and Safe House, which is, of course, half-good and half-bad — though Empire isn’t guaranteed to reach the respective level of either. Considering how much I liked Ripley‘s screenplay on Source Code, there’s sufficient reason to hope for more Singer and less Espinosa.

Does either have you perking up the ears?

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