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Sony Snatched Up James Vanderbilt’s Spec Script ‘White House Down’; Studio Eyes ‘The Mortal Instruments’

Written by on March 30, 2012 

Action movies set in the White House are taking off. Just under two weeks after Gerard Butler was locked to star in Olympus Has Fallen, Variety reports that Sony’s bought White House Down, a potentially similar spec script from James Vanderbilt (Zodiac, The Amazing Spider-Man).

This has only been described as “Die Hard meets Air Force One,” which is rather funny when you remember that Olympus went by the logline of “Die Hard in the White House.” That could be something of a problem; it doesn’t help that I’ve been mixed on much of Vanderbilt‘s screenwriting career, either. Zodiac being the obvious exception – and with The Rundown basically in a positive light, too – we are talking about the guy behind Darkness Falls, Basic and The Losers. You can’t let that go overlooked.

In other Sony news, Deadline tells us they’ve become the favorite to purchase The Mortal Instruments, a recently-revived adaptation of Cassandra Clare‘s YA series set to be directed by Harald Zwart and star Lily Collins. (When news of the project came in earlier this month, I remarked that Constantin Films’ semi-late August start date must be a sign of their waiting for a studio to come on. Here we are.) No other studios have been mentioned in conjunction with the project and, considering Sony’s Screen Gems once had this, it’s a property they know a thing or two about.

Here’s how the press release summed up the plot:

“[A] seemingly ordinary teenager, Clary Fray, discovers she is the descendant of a line of Shadowhunters, a secret cadre of young half-angel warriors locked in an ancient battle to protect our world from demons. After the disappearance of her mother, Clary must join forces with a group of Shadowhunters, who introduce her to a dangerous alternate New York called Downworld, filled with demons, warlocks, vampires, werewolves and other deadly creatures.”

Will you be up for two White House action movies? Is The Mortal Instruments a property you want to hit the screen?

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