EXCLUSIVE: After a bidding war, Universal Pictures landed the rights to Marcus Kliewer’s short story The Guardian, with Sydney Sweeney attached to star and produce. Michael Bay and Brad Fuller will also produce through their Platinum Dunes banner with Scott Glassgold through his Ground Control banner. Sweeney is producing through his Fifty-Fifty Films banner with partner Jonathan Davino. Karl Gajdusek adapts the screenplay.
The package came together once word got out that, like her previous short story, We used to live here, The Guardian would stumble upon Reddit. We used to live here sold to Netflix as part of a huge deal last year, and given Kliewer’s track record of engaging stories on the platform, the city quickly picked up on this latest story, the producers reaching out before she could arrive on site.
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The Guardian tells the story of a young woman who accepts a janitorial job from Craigslist and quickly discovers that her responsibilities have far greater stakes — and more dangerous — than she ever could have imagined. Executive vice president of production Matt Reilly and creative director Jacqueline Garell will oversee the project on behalf of Universal.
Fuller and Sweeney recently sold the package The record to Sony, and once Platinum was on board for Uni, Sweeney quickly got on board with the momentum of building the package. Given Sweeney’s popularity among top studio executives, sources say up to eight contenders were vying for the package, with Universal eventually coming in with a price tag in the seven-figure range to win the auction. After separating for a brief period, Bay and Fuller recently reunited and signed a first-look deal with Universal. This is the first major package the producing duo has delivered to the studio since signing the deal.
Bay and Fuller also produce Shit for Universal, but it would mark the first item they brought to the studio.
Sweeney quickly became one of the most sought-after young stars after her early roles on HBO’s first season. The White Lotus and the second season of Euphoria, both scoring her Emmy names. During EuphoriaDuring Sweeney’s hiatus, Sweeney did a good job building her development roster and also building her profile as a producer. Besides this photo and The recordshe is also attached to executive produce and stars in a new Barbarelle film at Sony Pictures and also recently teamed up with Endeavor Content to produce a television adaptation of The player table.
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She can next be seen in Marvel’s Mrs. Webb and recently completed production on the Tony Tost film National anthem, which also stars Simon Rex and Halsey. She will also appear in Reality.
As one of the industry’s most prolific creators, Bay has been responsible for enduring classics throughout his nearly four-decade career, including The rock, Armageddon, Bad Boys, Bad Boys II and the blockbuster Transformers franchise. He just got off his directorial spree with Universal, Ambulanceadding to his worldwide total of over $9.4 billion in ticket sales as a director and producer.
Besides that and ShitBay and Fuller also produce several films in the A silent place universe including a prequel at Paramount.
Gajdusek, always in demand, is best known for being the showrunner of the first season of stranger things and for writing the Tom Cruise star Oversight and Mathew Vaughn The king’s man.
Sales of The Guardian marks the fifth recent sale of news for Ground Control and Verve, following that of Nick Moorefox I think my stepmom wants to kill me to 3000 Pictures by Sony, Matt & Harrison Query Wilderness Reform at Paramount & My wife and I bought a ranch to Netflix.
Sweeney is replaced by Paradigm and Hansen Jacobson Teller. Gajdusek is replaced by Verve and Management 360. Fuller is represented by UTA and attorneys Sloane Offer Weber and Dern. Kliewer is represented by Verve, Ground Control and Ashley Silver. Verve and Ashley Silver also represent Ground Control.
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