Robert Downey Jr. to Possibly Star in EMERGENCY

     October 20, 2010

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Columbia Pictures has optioned the rights to Neil Strauss’ non-fiction book Emergency! This Book Will Save Your Life as a possible starring vehicle for Robert Downey Jr.  Downey will produce along with his wife and producing partner Susan Downey as well as Michael De Luca.  Screenwriter Allan Loeb (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps) is handling the script.  Strauss’ book has the author learning various survival skills that he will most likely never need to use in his day-to-day life.

Producer Columbia Pictures President Matt Tolmach said of the project in a press release, “Neil Strauss is a tremendous talent and we think Emergency! is his best work yet.  It’s a hugely entertaining read that couldn’t be more timely or topical. We think there is a fantastic film in this book and Robert and Susan, and of course, Mike are the perfect producers to take on the themes of this project.”

Hit the jump for a refresher on Downey’s other projects along with the full press release.

emergency_this_book_will_save_your_life_cover_01Downey is currently filming on Sherlock Holmes 2.  He’s also attached to Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, Sam Raimi’s Oz the Great and Powerful, and Joss Whedon’s The Avengers.  He’ll next be seen in theaters this November alongside Zach Galifianakis in the Todd Phillips comedy Due Date.

Here’s the press release:

COLUMBIA PICTURES ACQUIRES FEATURE FILM RIGHTS TO

“EMERGENCY!: THIS BOOK WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE”

FOR TEAM DOWNEY AND MICHAEL DeLUCA

CULVER CITY, Calif., October 20, 2010 – Columbia Pictures has optioned the rights for the non-fiction book Emergency!: This Book Will Save Your Life by Neil Strauss to be developed into a feature film produced by Robert Downey Jr., Susan Downey, and Michael DeLuca, it was announced today by Doug Belgrad and Matt Tolmach, presidents of Columbia Pictures.  The project is being considered as a possible starring vehicle for Downey. Allan Loeb (Wall Street 2, Dilemma) is writing the screenplay.

Emergency traces one man’s story of a dangerous world–and how to stay alive in it or die trying. It is Strauss’s white-knuckled journey through a country that’s lost its sense of safety, as one man equips himself with the tools necessary to save himself and his loved ones from an uncertain future. He sets out to move his life offshore, and in the process, he learns to survive in the wild, and remake himself as a gun-toting, lock-picking, plane-flying, government-defying survivor. It’s a tale of paranoid fantasies and crippling doubts, of shady lawyers and dangerous cult leaders, of billionaire gun nuts and survivalist superheroes, of weirdoes, heroes, and ordinary citizens taking their families off the grid.

Tolmach said, “Neil Strauss is a tremendous talent and we think Emergency! is his best work yet.  It’s a hugely entertaining read that couldn’t be more timely or topical. We think there is a fantastic film in this book and Robert and Susan, and of course, Mike are the perfect producers to take on the themes of this project.”

De Luca added, “The book is a study in male panic and since I specialized in that throughout the 90’s I felt a true kinship with the material.”

David Gambino will oversee the project for Team Downey.  Josh Bratman will develop the project along with De Luca and Tolmach and Andrea Giannetti will oversee the title on behalf of Columbia Pictures.

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