EXCLUSIVE: In the first major sale of the year, Universal has pre-emptively purchased the short story package Long Lost that comes with an attachment by Steven Spielberg, who’s aboard as a producer through his U-based Amblin banner.

The 50-page short story was written by Colin Bannon, who will write the script. His deal is in the low 7-figures range for story and to write the script, said sources. Pic will be produced by Spielberg’s Amblin Partners , Simon Kinberg and Audrey Chon for Genre Pictures and Scott Glassgold and his Ground Control Entertainment.  

As a screenwriter, Bannon has landed scripts on the Black List a record seven times, and he has sold the specs Ultra to Tri-Star Pictures and First Ascent to Netflix. Bannon’s psychological thriller Holdout is readying at Netflix with Elizabeth Moss attached to star and direct.  

In the vein of What Lies Beneath and Rosemary’s Baby, Long Lost tells the story of a recently married woman whose life is upended when her husband’s long lost wife shockingly returns after she was believed to be dead, sparking fears that she’s hatching a sinister plan to reclaim what was once hers.

This is yet another in a sales template that has worked extraordinarily well for Verve and Glassgold. This marks the second recent short story that involves Kinberg. Late last year, the duo packaged and sold I Am Not Alone to Netflix with Misha Green writing and directing and Jessica Chastain attached to star. Long Lost marks Glassgold’s third short story sale to Universal – the other two packages include Run For Your Life with Sam Hargrave directing and Caretaker with Syndey Sweeney starring.  

This is Glassgold and Verve’s 12th recent deal for an unpublished short story. Other recent sales include Akela Cooper-attached It’s Over to Sony with Roy Lee; the Aaron Jayh short story The Dwelling to Amazon with Michael B Jordan starring and producing; Occupant to New Line with Zach Cregger producing alongside Lee and Glassgold; We Used to Live Here to Netflix with Blake Lively to star; I Think My Mother-In-Law Is Trying to Kill Me to Sony 3000; and Wilderness Reform to Paramount.  

Bannon is represented by Verve, Ground Control and Ben Rubinfeld. Spielberg and Kinberg are represented at CAA. Ground Control is represented by Verve.  

Verve and Ground Control will be representing the upcoming novel-publishing rights for Long Lost.  

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Source: DLine

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