February 19, 2010 4:23am EST
Warner Bros. is getting busy in the first-look business. The studio, it was reported yesterday, is expected to sign a production deal with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, while reports also surfaced late yesterday that Zac Efron has signed a two-year deal with Warners. Further, the studio in talks to sign Robert Downey, Jr. and his wife, producer Susan Downey, to a first-look production deal.
Downey Jr. starred in Warner's Sherlock Holmes, on which Susan Downey was a producer. The studio is developing a sequel. He has also starred in several other Warner projects including Zodiac, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and the upcoming Due Date.
Susan Downey is a veteran production exec with Silver Pictures. Her recent credits include Whiteout, Orphan and Rocknrolla.
As for Efron, Deadline.com reports that Warner plans to buy pitches, spec scripts and books for the actor and his still unformed company to develop as star vehicles. His manager, Alchemy Entertainment's Jason Barrett, will be an exec producer on the projects.
Also according to Deadline, the first project to be developed under Efron's new Warner Bros. deal will be the Back to the Future-like film that melds two projects: a pitch from writers Tim Calpin and Kevin Jakubowski, and the other called Algorithm that the studio was already developing.
The Downeys, Matt & Ben and Efron join Steve Carell, Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio, who already have overall deals at Warner Bros.
Zac Efron has linked himself to a pair of projects he hopes will give him the chance to broaden his range, Deadline.com reports. In separate deals at Universal and Warner Bros., the actor is looking at a Ludlum-esque thriller and a Back to the Future-style pic, according to Deadline.
Efron will tackle Universal's Fire, a spy thriller that is an adaptation of Brian Michael Bendis' graphic novel. He would play a college student who is recruited by the CIA, only to find that he has been trained for a program that creates expendable agents, Deadline says.
Bendis will write the script. Neal Moritz will produce with Circle of Confusion’s David Engel. Efron and Alchemy Entertainment’s Jason Barrett will be exec producers.
A separate deal at Warner Bros. will put Efron in a Back to the Future-like film that melds two projects. One, according to Deadline, is a pitch from writers Tim Calpin and Kevin Jakubowski, and the other is a WB project called Algorithm that the studio was already developing as a directing vehicle for Nick Stoller.
Mark Gordon and Bryan Zuriff are producing and Alan Riche is exec producer along with Efron and Barrett.