Robert Downey Jr To Possibly Star In Neil Strauss's 'Emergency!'

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Columbia Pictures have announced that they have optioned the rights to Neil Strauss's non-fiction book Emergency!: This Book Will Save Your Life. Strauss is probably best known for his bestselling pickup book The Game: Penetrating The Secret Society of Pickup Artists, which has also been in development for the past couple years (with Ari Sandel now working to bring it to the big screen, with Due Date scribe Adam Sztykiel is rewriting Dan Weiss' script). Robert Downey Jr is producing the project as a possible starring vehicle with Allan Loeb (Wall Street 2, Dilemma) writing the screenplay.

The official book description follows:

Terrorist attacks. Natural disasters. Domestic crackdowns. Economic collapse. Riots. Wars. Disease. Starvation. What can you do when it all hits the fan? You can learn to be self-sufficient and survive without the system. **I've started to look at the world through apocalypse eyes.** So begins Neil Strauss's harrowing new book: his first full-length worksince the international bestseller The Game, and one of the most original-and provocative-narratives of the year. After the last few years of violence and terror, of ethnic and religious hatred, of tsunamis and hurricanes–and now of world financial meltdown–Strauss, like most of his generation, came to the sobering realization that, even in America, anything can happen. But rather than watch helplessly, he decided to do something about it. And so he spent three years traveling through a country that's lost its sense of safety, equipping himself with the tools necessary to save himself and his loved ones from an uncertain future. With the same quick wit and eye for cultural trends that marked The Game, The Dirt, and How to Make Love Like a Porn Star, Emergency traces Neil's white-knuckled journey through today's heart of darkness, as he sets out to move his life offshore, test his skills in the wild, and remake himself as a gun-toting, 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 weirdos, heroes, and ordinary citizens going off the grid. It's one man's story of a dangerous world–and how to stay alive in it.Before the next disaster strikes, you're going to want to read this book. And you'll want to do everything it suggests. Because tomorrow doesn't come with a guarantee...

According to Wikipedia, "the author gains citizenship of the island nation of St. Kitts, visits to a ranch called Gunsite to learn to shoot, and learns techniques for tracking and surviving in the wilderness. Comics are used as illustrations throughout the book, detailing survival techniques." You can buy the book in paperback on Amazon for around $11-12.

Here is the official press release:


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 DeLuca and Tolmach and Andrea Giannetti will oversee the title on behalf of Columbia Pictures.

NEIL STRAUSS is the author of six New York Times bestselling books, including The Game, The Long Hard Road Out of Hell with Marilyn Manson, How to Make Love Like a Porn Star with Jenna Jameson, and The Dirt with Motley Crue. He was a reporter and critic at The New York Times and currently writes for Rolling Stone, in addition to running the publishing company Igniter, an imprint of HarperCollins/It Books. His next book, Everyone Loves You When You're Dead, is due in March.

ROBERT DOWNEY JR. is one of today's most respected actors. He recently earned his second Academy Award® nomination, for Best Supporting Actor, for his work in Ben Stiller's comedy hit Tropic Thunder. Downey was honored with his first Oscar® nomination, in the category of Best Actor, for his portrayal of Charlie Chaplin in Richard Attenborough's acclaimed 1992 biopic Chaplin. In Summer 2008, Downey received praise from critics and audiences for his performance in the title role of the blockbuster hit Iron Man. Downey's other recent films include Iron Man 2, Sherlock Holmes, The Soloist, Charlie Bartlett, Zodiac, A Scanner Darkly, Fur, and Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang. He also shared in a SAG Award® nomination as a member of the ensemble cast of George Clooney's true-life drama Good Night, and Good Luck.

Downey's long list of film credits also includes Gothika, Wonder Boys, Natural Born Killers, Chances Are, Less Than Zero, and Weird Science. He will next star in Due Date, a comedy from director Todd Phillips. Downey is currently in production on Sherlock Holmes 2.

SUSAN DOWNEY most recently produced Sherlock Holmes, directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law and Rachel McAdams and executive produced The Book of Eli starring Denzel Washington. In addition, Downey was an executive producer on the smash hit Iron Man 2, the sequel to the blockbuster action hit. Downey also served as an executive producer on Due Date, a new comedy from director Todd Phillips, starring Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis and Michelle Monaghan. Downey is currently producing Sherlock Holmes 2.

Downey previously held the dual posts of Co-President of Dark Castle Entertainment and Executive Vice President of Production at Silver Pictures. Joining Silver Pictures in 1999, she oversaw the development and production of feature films released under both banners, including Thir13en Ghosts and Swordfish. She went on to co-produce Ghost Ship and Cradle 2 the Grave and produce Gothika, House of Wax, The Brave One, RocknRolla, and Orphan. She also executive produced Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.

A former production chief for DreamWorks and New Line Cinema, MICHAEL DE LUCA founded Michael De Luca Productions in March of 2004 and has a development and production agreement with Columbia Pictures.

De Luca focuses on developing appropriately budgeted, provocative specialized films with visionary filmmakers, and pop culture, mainstream genre films with franchise potential. His projects as a producer for Columbia have included the critically acclaimed hit The Social Network, Ghost Rider, starring Nicolas Cage and directed by Mark Steven Johnson, which generated more than $231 million worldwide, 21 based on the book Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich, and Jon Favreau's science fiction adventure Zathura, adapted from a book by Chris Van Allsburg. He is in post production on Priest for Screen Gems starring Paul Bettany; Drive Angry, starring Nicolas Cage for Nu Image/Millennium, being released by Summit; and Butter, starring Jennifer Garner for the Weinstein Company. He recently wrapped production on Moneyball, directed by Bennett Miller and starring Brad Pitt for Columbia Pictures, and Fright Night, which is directed by Craig Gillespie for DreamWorks. He is currently in production on The Sitter, and will soon begin production on Ghostrider 2, also starring Nicolas Cage.

Prior to forming Michael De Luca Productions, De Luca served as DreamWorks' Head of Production and previously spent 7 years as President and COO of New Line Productions.

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