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Mar 31st
10:09 pm
New Project - 'The Associate'?  
Let me preface this news by saying, Tracking Board is considered infamously unreliable at this point. I don't want to be a Debbie Downer but I wasn't even going to post this story unless a trade confirmed it. But since their post was unlocked and everyone is freaking out about it, I felt like putting this out there: please don't count chickens before they hatch. I can't deny though that it'd be nice if this, or something like this, was true. The hardest part of any non-filming/non-promo time, is the waiting around, knowing work must be happening but not seeing it. So it's always nice to hear something, lol.

From TB:
Zac Efron and his production company, Ninjas Runnin’ Wild are set to bring an adaptation of John Grisham’s novel THE ASSOCIATE to the big screen.

Efron will produce and star in the film as a brilliant lawyer fresh out of school who snags a job at the world’s biggest law firm, but a dark secret from his college days threatens to derail his career.

...‘Associate’ has been in development since 2008, and originally had Shia Lebeouf to star and Tony Scott to direct. The two left the project over budgetary issues back in 2009. Andrew Garfield and Adrian Lyne were next to take over the project, but both have since left.

The project will now be starting from scratch. The script written William Monahan, whose work includes “The Departed”, has since been scrapped, and new writers are currently being scouted for the project. The budget is estimated to be around $30 million.

In addition to Efron and Barrett, Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher produce from their Red Wagon Entertainment. Red Wagon, the company behind “Divergent” and “The Great Gatsby” is set up at Sony, while Ninjas has a deal with Warner Bros. With these two studios involved, as well as the ever-popular work of Grisham as source material, there are plenty of homes for this project once a writer comes aboard. Well, truthfully this package with Efron is most likely enough, but a solid writer can only help push this one toward production.

Other Grisham adaptations include “The Pelican Brief”, “A Time to Kill” and “The Firm”. Considering Efron’s fan base, there is a good chance that this one will look to cash in on the 18-24 demographic.

If a trade confirms the story, also keep in mind that it sounds like it'd be awhile till this would be close to filming. On the topic of the actual project, idk what to think. I haven't read the book yet. I do like some Grisham books and films, but not all. The Amazon reviews on this particular one seem meh but a good script can add a lot. So who knows. Wait and see, as always.
Mood: awakeawake
8 8 comments Comment
zacsfagzacsfag on April 1st, 2014 06:30 am (UTC)
This actually sounds really cool! I think this has a potentially dark element to it that intrigues me. I read an article on People that said Zac was focused on reading scripts. Who knows? Maybe this is one of them.

Edited at 2014-04-01 06:30 am (UTC)
countessm3countessm3 on April 1st, 2014 01:57 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday Cady! All this Zac drama was going on so I forgot it. Sorry.
Bee: Zac – SNL - White Tuxedojeezbee on April 1st, 2014 03:40 pm (UTC)
Yeah, as I said last night, I'm not taking this as a done deal. I can totally see him meeting for it and being interested (like many, many other things we rarely hear about and in the end don't come through) but idk if this has closed (yet). I'm waiting to hear from a reliable source before I take it serious.

It seems odd to entirely discard a script from William Monahan and there is also the question about the rights since Paramount who had them last isn't mentioned anywhere.

Adrian Lyne would have been interesting as director. The producers seem ok, so that's a good thing. And if they are a developing it outside the studio system to just go there later that might be more effective as well. But even if we get confirmation, this will take a few years until it happens, if at all.

That said, it would be a good signal and the project has potential, so I would absolutely be happy about it. But.... as Cady said, it's really just a rumor at this point.
Bee: Zac - GQ - In Car 1 (full)jeezbee on April 3rd, 2014 01:11 am (UTC)
In a pleasant surprise, Tracking-Board was not premature like they usually are nowadays and THR confirmed it.

It's great. Still a long, long way off but just good to hear about a new development project. I hope the fact that it's based on a popular novel helps the development.

I think it would be even better if they already had a director attached when they set it up but that's just me nitpicking now.
kleth on April 1st, 2014 07:18 pm (UTC)
"Well, truthfully this package with Efron is most likely enough"

I agree about the package, but the "with Efron" part is dreaming. I'm just waiting for the day when attaching Zac to a project will get it snapped up by the studios or a major distributor.

At least this is the kind of project he *should* be getting involved in - you know, grown-up stuff.

But I'm concerned about the six years this project has been piddling around in Movieland with constant changes and no progress. Makes me thing there is a flaw in it somewhere. Maybe that's why they discarded the existing script.

Still, we can pray. This is a mundane drama based on a best-selling novel (no vampires or wizards). If actually made and successful, this would completely change Zac's industry standing and popular appeal.

Edited at 2014-04-01 07:23 pm (UTC)
kleth on April 1st, 2014 07:26 pm (UTC)
"But I'm concerned about the six years this project has been piddling around in Movieland with constant changes and no progress."

To comment on my own comment, this could be like the new team is just picking up road kill on the highway.
Beejeezbee on April 2nd, 2014 02:29 am (UTC)
I guess Angelina Jolie's Unbroken which people think is vying for awards is totally doomed then because it was in development for 50+ years.

I think I've said it in the past, this means nothing. Not for the likelihood of happening nor for the quality of the project. Projects going through multiple development cycles is the most normal thing.
kleth on April 2nd, 2014 06:57 pm (UTC)
I didn't say it was doomed. I know many successful films have been in development for years, even more than a decade. But these are usually passion projects of a determined producer, director, or actor. I hope this becomes Zac's passion project and he carries it to a triumphal conclusion. But I'm worried that this is the third team to make the attempt in just six years, and they're back to the start line with a new script.