EXCLUSIVE: In the second 7-figure deal for Paramount Pictures this week, the studio preemptively acquired Yumanzu, a pitch by Free Guy screenwriter Matt Lieberman. He will write the script and producing will be Kenya Barris and his Khalabo Ink Society (which just made a first look deal with the studio) will produce with Adam Kolbrenner (Free Guy) through his Lit Entertainment Group banner.
Logline for the pitch is being kept under wraps, but Deadline hears this is a high concept family adventure movie that’s somewhere between Close Encounters and Jurassic Park. It was acquired before other studios heard it, with Jon Gonda reeling it in. Lieberman has made a lot of noise with high expectations for Free Guy, the Shawn Levy-directed film that studio will release this year after Covid delays, with Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Taika Waititi, Lil Rel Howery, and Joe Keery starring.
Lieberman has been en fuego as a writer with seven credits since late 2018: MGM’s Addams Family, Paramount’s Playing with Fire, Netflix’s Christmas Chronicles 1 & 2, Paramount Animation’s Rumble, Warner Bros Scoob! and Free Guy.
Barris recently set at Paramount Players One Night in Compton, a sci-fi project that Barris will produce with Rohan Blair-Mangat scripting.
Aside from producing Free Guy, Kolbrenner produced the upcoming Amazon/Skydance film The Tomorrow War with Chris Pratt starring, and is an exec producer of the HBO Max series Raised By Wolves and produced the Denis Villenueve-directed Prisoners.
Lieberman is repped by CAA, Lit Entertainment Group and attorney Melissa Rogal; Barris by CAA and Artists First.
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