One of my old college friends has just signed a significant deal with Universal. This is the Variety article below. Owen tells me that Variety got some of the facts wrong: Owen optioned the story, and the main character doesn’t have a PhD yet (has the credits though.)
Posted: Sun., Aug. 12, 2001, 3:28pm PT
U buys pitch of female CIA candidate
Scribes Gottlieb, Susco base story on real-life figure
By CLAUDE BRODESSER, CATHY DUNKLEY
HOLLYWOOD — Universal Pictures has acquired an untitled adventure pitch from Owen A. Gottlieb and Stephen Susco’s for an undisclosed sum.
Story is based on the real-life exploits of an eclectic candidate for the CIA who, since the age of 12, has devoted her life to becoming a superhero.
“This is much like ‘Erin Brockovich’ in that it’s about a woman’s
journey,” Susco said. “Ninety-nine out of 100 people give up on their journey toward dreams, and she refused to relinquish it.”
The duo would identify the real woman upon which the pitch is based only as Zora. She was rejected from the CIA despite immense qualifications and now works for international investigative firms. Duo had first learned of her in a profile on National Public Radio that they subsequently optioned.
Gottlieb listed Zora’s various real-life abilities as proficiency in archery, camel-riding, Arabic and French; she also possesses a Ph.D. in geopolitics.
Susco recently rewrote the spec “Life During Wartime” for Paramount and “Dumbstruck” for Universal Pictures; Gottlieb was until recently a staff writer of the UPN sci-fi series “Seven Days.” His short “Cutters” played Slamdance in 1997.
Kennedy/Marshall Prods. is producing, with U production VP Tim O’Hair overseeing development.
Susco was repped in the deal by his managers at Tavel Entertainment; Gottlieb was repped by Paradigm.