Akiva Goldsman to Make ‘Avengelyne,’ ‘Rainbow Six’ and ‘Ologies’ for Paramount
Paramount Pictures took a hit this summer, when their supposedly critic-proof box office powerhouse underperformed at the domestic and international box office, but they’re moving full steam ahead to develop new tentpole franchises to help keep the studio afloat. And they’ve hired Oscar-winner Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) to oversee their potential blockbusters based on Rob Leifeld’s Avengelyne, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six, and the bestselling YA fantasy series Ologies.
It’s an ambitious slate of pictures, make no mistake. Akiva Goldsman himself will direct Avengelyne, a superhero series about an angel, and produce the other ambitious franchises (via Deadline). He will also develop several low-budget genre films for the studio. It’s all part of a new two-year, first-look deal between Paramount Pictures and Weed Road, Akiva Goldsman’s production company.
Akiva Goldsman remains a controversial figure with many audience members. He won an Academy Award for writing A Beautiful Mind, wrote the respectable thrillers A Time to Kill and The Client, and produced the cult tv series Fringe. But he’s also written some of the worst movies of the last two decades, including Batman & Robin, Lost in Space and Winter’s Tale, the latter of which he also directed.
But Paramount is confident in Akiva Goldsman’s abilities to bring Avengelyne to life, and also produce Rainbow Six, based on the Tom Clancy novel about a counterterrorist unit, which spun off from the successful Jack Ryan novels and eventually inspired a long-running series of popular video games. The protagonist of the novel is John Clark, a character played by Willem Dafoe in Clear and Present Danger, and by Liev Schreiber in The Sum of All Fears.
If Rainbow Six is successful, a prequel based on the novel Without Remorse – which was previously being developed by the studio as a spin-off of the unsuccessful reboot Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit – is expected to follow. It’s unclear whether Rainbow Six and Without Remorse will be directly connected to the new Jack Ryan television series starring John Krasinski, which is heading to Amazon’s streaming service.
Finally, Akiva Goldsman will also produce Ologies, based on a series of popular Young Adult novels which take the form of fictional encyclopedias about various creatures and adventurers. The books, mostly written by Dugald Steer, include works like Dragonology, Pirateology, Vampireology and Alienology. Goldsman will be responsible for setting up a writers room, and turning the disparate books into a cohesive, narrative, blockbuster franchise.
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William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on The B-Movies Podcast and Canceled Too Soon, and watch him on the weekly YouTube series What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.