Alex Kurtzman And Roberto Orci Nab A ‘License To Steal’

The rascally writing/producing duo Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are at it again. Those dudes must be vampires or something; they certainly don’t sleep, not with the rate at which they drop joy bombs in TV and film. Before diving in with their new hotness, let’s rattle off a list: “ransformers: Revenge of the Fallen“; “The Proposal“; “Star Trek“; “Mission: Impossible III”; “The Island”; TV’s “Fringe” and “Alias.”

Yeah, they’re busy. That’s not even counting the dozen or so projects they have currently in various stages of development/production. And they’ve just added one more to the mix: “License to Steal,” an action-comedy loosely based on a article. Kurtzman and Orci will produce for Paramount.

Variety reports that “Armageddon” and “Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem” writer Shane Salerno will deliver the script. The story will be loosely adapted from a pair of Marc Weingarten articles on which takes a look at (as Variety describes it) “the high-end repo business, in which agents travel all the world to reclaim play toys including private jets and speedboats.”

Salerno has had the rights to “Steal” for a year, and Orci/Kurtzman with Paramount beat out a number of other high-profile talents who had hoped to land the project. “Terminator Salvation” director McG tried with Warner Bros, “Wanted” director Timur Bekmambetov tried with Universal and “Valkyrie” director Bryan Singer tried with Sony. Paramount beat them all out, apparently before the competing studios could even place a bid.

Kurtzman and Orci issued an official statement on working with Salerno: “We’re thrilled to be working with Shane, a wildly inventive and talented creator. His passion was clear the minute he started telling his story. He has crafted a smart, lighthearted action movie that’s fun and topical, with a ton of unexpected plot twists..”

Have you read Weingarten’s original articles? Are you surprised to see so much high-profile talent, people who typically deal in epic-scale spectacle, attracted to a story concerning high-end repo men? Armed with this knowledge, are you now going to track down and read the two Salon articles?