Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky are polishing the script; Columbia developing author's “Emergency!” as Robert Downey Jr. vehicle
Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, the Emmy-nominated writer-producers of NBC's "The Office," have been drafted to polish the screenplay for the big-screen adaptation of Neil Strauss' best-selling pickup artist book "The Game," an individual familiar with the project has told TheWrap.
The duo were named two of Variety's 10 Comics to Watch in 2007 and are currently writing "Ghostbusters 3" for Columbia Pictures. In addition to Harold Ramis' biblical comedy "Year One," they've also written Jake Kasdan's upcoming Cameron Diaz-Justin Timberlake comedy "Bad Teacher," which Columbia will appropriately release on April Fools' Day.
Oscar winner Ari Sandel ("West Bank Story") is set to direct "The Game," which is being financed by Spyglass Entertainment and produced by Chris Weitz's company Depth of Field. D.B. Weiss (HBO's "Game of Thrones") wrote the initial draft of the screenplay.
In other Neil Strauss (below, right) news, Columbia has optioned the feature film rights to the author's non-fiction book "Emergency! This Book Will Save Your Life," and set Robert Downey Jr., Susan Downey and Michael De Luca to produce the project, the studio announced on Wednesday, although TheWrap has learned that the deal was consummated quite some time ago.
Allan Loeb ("Wall Street 2") is writing the script as a possible starring vehicle for Downey Jr.
"Emergency!" tracks Strauss as he moves his family offshore and remakes himself as a survivalist. This put the pistol-packing Rolling Stone reporter in proximity of a range of kooky characters, including shady lawyers, threatening cult leaders, wealthy gun enthusiasts and other paranoid people whose distrust of the government led them to live on society's fringes.
Josh Bratman will develop "Emergency!" along with De Luca and Columbia co-president Matt Tolmach.
David Gambino will oversee the project for Team Downey, while Andrea Giannetti will oversee for Columbia.