Spec Script Bonanza: Studios Acquire Rights to 'The Royal Honour Society', 'White House Down', and 'Garden District'

Spec Script Bonanza: Studios Acquire Rights to 'The Royal Honour Society', 'White House Down', and 'Garden District'

Mar 30, 2012

Screenplay photoWhen it comes to the movies, we love to talk about actors, and directors, and trailers – but one of the most important elements of any great film is the screenplay. The script is the blueprint of the film – the very foundation upon which all great cinema is built. So, with that in mind, here are some of the scripts currently making news in Hollywood.

Sony has reportedly acquired the rights to writer Joe Lupinacci’s pitch for an action-adventure film entitled The Royal Honour Society. The literary-themed period piece appears to be something of an inverse of Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen – with writers like H.G. Wells, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Jules Verne as the main characters. What those authors will do in the script hasn’t been revealed, but it must be something impressive – because the pitch started making the rounds yesterday and was snagged by Sony before the end of the afternoon.

The Royal Honour Society is set to be produced by Joe Roth and Palak Patel.


One of the reasons everyone who lives in Los Angeles and has opposable thumbs is writing a screenplay is because selling a spec script  (a speculative screenplay written without being commissioned) is sort of like winning the lottery. While the spec market has supposedly cooled over the past few years, stories like this one will probably stoke the fires anew.

Deadline revealed that Sony has paid $3 million for the spec White House Down. The script, penned by The Amazing Spider-Man’s Jamie Vanderbilt, will be produced by Vanderbilt, Brad Fischer, and Laeta Kalogridis. No plot details have been revealed, but dust off your copy of Final Draft and get cracking – there’s gold in those Hollywood hills, apparently.


Finally, writers Tony Jaswinski and Luke Goltz have sold their spec horror script, entitled Garden District, to Dimension Films in a deal reportedly worth mid-six against seven figures (which means the writers get the mid-six figure for the spec, rewrites, polishes, and other duties, and it goes up to the seven figures level if it gets made).

The chiller is reportedly about a trio of characters who fancy themselves “mythbusters” and get in way over their heads when investigating a viral video reportedly featuring the execution of a real-life vampire. Sounds like a title that would fit perfectly in the burgeoning found footage horror subgenre.

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