Last week, Sony spent a massive $3m. acquiring a spec script, White House Down, penned by James Vanderbilt, writer of David Fincher’s Zodiac and Marc Webb’s upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man.
It looks like the studio are already making solid strides with the project, with Deadline reporting that Roland Emmerich is now in talks to direct.
White House Down is centred on a paramilitary takeover of the White House, with comparisons made to the likes of Die Hard, and the $3m. figure from Sony is the highest paid for a script this year, so clearly they must have some faith that it could be something of a blockbuster.
Emmerich is set to make this his next feature project as a director, with production expected to get underway this autumn. And after that, he’ll hopefully be reigniting his sci-fi epic project, Singularity, which temporarily halted production last year.
Though Emmerich’s last film, Anonymous, may have not performed as well as Columbia (and parent company Sony) would have liked at the box office, the director has a terrific track record of turning a massive profit at the box office. Before Anonymous, 2012 turned a $200m. budget into almost $760m.; The Day After Tomorrow turned $125m. into $540m.; Godzilla turned $130m. into $380m.; and most impressive of all, Independence Day turned $75m. into almost $820m. at the box office.
Vanderbilt has already been set to pen the sequel for Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man, and with this spec script selling for such a high figure and getting a name like Emmerich’s attached to direct, it seems pretty clear that he’s a writer we can expect to see a lot more of in years to come. More as we get it.