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Focus Features Lands Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Black Bag’ With Cate Blanchett & Michael Fassbender Starring In David Koepp-Scripted Spy Thriller

EXCLUSIVE: Focus Features has won a bidding battle for Black Bag, a package for a spy thriller film that Steven Soderbergh will direct this summer in Europe from a David Koepp script, with Cate Blanchett and Michael Fassbender attached to star. Casey Silver and Greg Jacobs are producing.

This is a negative pickup and the filmmakers will deliver the film in the $60 million range, all in, I’m hearing. It marks the second deal this week for Soderbergh and a Koepp-scripted project. The director made a triumphant return to Sundance, where 35 years ago the $1 million deal for his sex, lies, & videotape changed the game. His ghost story Presence sold to Neon in a splashy deal with multiple bidders in an auction that followed the film’s premiere this week.

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Black Bag was dispersed to studios in the same time span. The deal was brokered by CAA and by Michael Sugar’s Sugar23 and attorney Jamie Feldman.

No numbers yet on this package, but it continues to be the best way for talent to be in the driver’s seat. Come to the table with a script, director and cast, and you’ll find studios willing to pay a premium for a film they can plug into their slates.

Ryan Coogler is getting a similar reception on an untitled genre team up with Michael B. Jordan that is going down to the wire with Warner Bros, Sony Pictures and Universal all vying for the project and the chance to be in business long term with the Black Panther and Creed director.

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