Lionsgate Adapting Action Comedy Novel Severance Package
by Alex Billington
August 14, 2008
Lionsgate has just acquired the rights to the novel Severance Package written by Duane Swierczynski and has hired Brett Simon to adapt. Simon will handle both the writing and directing duties, which is a great break for him. Why should you care about this? Simon also wrote and directed the greatest film no one has seen yet - Assassination of a High School President. Unfortunately the distributor pushed the release back until early next year, but it's one of the best films I saw at Sundance (and at SXSW after a second screening) and it has remained in my mind ever since. And when you hear the details of the story for this action comedy, you might be interested despite not being familiar with Simon's work anyway.
"David Murphy, the CEO of a Philadelphia financial company, summons his seven staffers for an important Saturday meeting, where he informs them that the business is being shut down, and that unfortunately he has to kill them all. Every escape route from the 36th-floor office has been sealed off or rigged with lethal sarin gas. Suddenly, mousy Molly Lewis pulls out a gun and puts a slug in Murphy's head." That definitely caught my attention! Severance Package apparently has the makings "for a Tarantino-esque, stylistically violent film." And from the sound of that description, I'd definitely love to see this turn out exactly that way. Anyone else up for some more action comedies after seeing Pineapple Express and Tropic Thunder?
Duanes other book "The Wheelman" is also ripe for adaptation IMO. He also wrote a really interesting book on the history of bank robberies in America. Good stuff. His comics work is showing some good signs too.
Dan on Aug 14, 2008
Not sure about how laugh out loud it will be but sounds like a bloody good time.
Ryan on Aug 14, 2008
I talked with Duane last Saturday at a 'Severance Package' book signing. He hinted that a studio had got the rights to the book, but he wouldn't mention which one. He hinted that it was a studio that had no problems when it came to blood in motion pictures. To me this either meant Lionsgate or Fox. The rights to Duane's book 'The Blonde' were optioned some time ago by 'Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang''s Michelle Monaghan with the intent for her to star.
Travis on Aug 14, 2008
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