KatzSmith Sells Jonathan W. Stokes’ Dark Comedy Spec MURDERS AND ACQUISTIONS to Warner Bros.

     September 24, 2011

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Seth Grahame-Smith is still waiting for his first produced feature script to reach theaters, but once it does, we’re in for a flurry of credits.  Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows is up first on May 11, 2012, followed by Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter on June 22, 2012.  Next, Grahame-Smith will reunite with Burton to script a Beetlejuice reboot, and develop the comedy spec From Mia with Love at Fox.  Just to keep things interesting, Grahame-Smith and his KatzSmith producing partner David Katzenberg are now pitching the work of other writers.  KatzSmith signed a first-look producing deal with Warner Bros. earlier this month—as of yesterday, their first sale is Jonathan W. Stokes’ dark comedy script Murders and Acquisitions.  The story contrasts a career in finance with the life of a hitman: “Both worlds collide when an ousted CEO decides to hire an assassin to kill the corporate raider who stole his company.”

The story behind the sale is pretty neat, and worth your time after the jump.

The way Variety tells it, Grahame-Smith and Stokes were elementary school buddies in Connecticut, but lost contact for two decades.  The two reconnected when Grahame-Smith heard Stokes sold another spec script, El Gringo, to Joel Silver.  Stokes gave KatzSmith an early look at the script, and the rest is history.

Stokes is shopping yet another spec script, Blood Mountain, to positive buzz at the studios.  So the moral of the story is this: if you want your kid to be a successful screenwriter, sign him up for that school in Connecticut.

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