MANDRAKE THE MAGICIAN And MOBY DICK Movies Get New Writers

Puss In Boots scribe Tom Wheeler has been set by Warner Bros. to rewrite their Mandrake The Magician film, while Universal has hired Contraband writer Aaron Guzikowski to pen a new take on Moby Dick (which will be directed by Wanted's Timur Bekmambetov).



Variety has landed a couple of scoops concerning the upcoming film adaptations of Mandrake The Magician and Moby Dick. First up, the site reports that Warner Bros. has hired Tom Wheeler (who has previously scripted Dreamworks Animation's Puss In Boots spin-off) to rewrite their Mandrake The Magician movie, which will be a new modern take on the character (who is described as "a powerful illusionist who hypnotized foes from gangsters to aliens"). The film will be based on the classic comic strip created by Lee Falk in 1934. David and Janet Peoples wrote the first draft of the script. The film has been in development since 2009 at WB/Altas Entertainment. Charles Roven and Andy Horwitz are overseeing the project for Atlas, while Sarah Schechter will oversee for WB. No director is currently attached.

Meanwhile, Variety also reports that Universal Pictures has set a new writer for their adaptation of the classic novel Moby Dick, which will be directed by Timur Bekmambetov (who has previously helmed Wanted and next week's Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter). Aaron Guzikowski, who has previously written Contraband for the studio, will rewrite the Moby Dick script (which has been worked on by Adam Cooper, Bill Collage and Evan Spiliotopoulos). The latest rewrite is expected to lower the budget of the film. The site notes that the original draft, written by Cooper and Collage, "reimaged the classic novel by ditching the first-person narration of young seaman Ishmael in order to depict the whale's decimation of other ships prior to its encounter with Captain Ahab's vessel. Ahab will also be depicted as more charismatic, rather than just hell-bent on revenge." Bekmambetov will produce with Jim Lemley and Bluegrass Films' Scott Stuber, as well as Cormac and Marianne Wibberley.









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