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Warner Bros In Talks To Acquire Hot Thriller Spec ‘The Bet’ From Javier Gullón; 42 To Produce

EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros is finalizing a deal to preemptively acquire The Bet, a hot spec from Spanish screenwriter Javier Gullón (Enemy), according to multiple sources.

The studio declined comment. No deal figure was given.

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While plot details are under wraps, the project has been described as a twisty, female-led thriller with pitch-black humor, set at a glittering destination for the ultra-rich. Ben Pugh, Peter Dealbert and Josh Varney will produce for 42.

A Goya Award nominee, Gullón is best known for scripting the surreal psychological thriller Enemy for director Denis Villeneuve. Released by A24 in 2014 after world premiering at the Toronto Film Festival, the film starred Jake Gyllenhaal as a man on a quest for his exact look-alike, after spotting him in a movie. Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, and Isabella Rossellini co-starred.

Gullón has sold and adapted numerous sci-fi short stories at auction for film and TV including Neanderthal (fka N) which sold in a 10-way bidding war to New Regency/See-Saw with Garth Davis directing. His spec 478 was produced within one year of being picked up by Aronfoksy’s Protozoa Pictures; Arnold Schwarzenegger led the film, ultimately titled Aftermath.

Other recent feature credits for Gullón include Spanish filmmaker Aritz Moreno’s Moscas and Advantages of Travelling by Train, as well as the 2022 Netflix pic Rainbow. The creative served as co-EP on Season 2 of FX’s hit series The Old Man and has also developed television for HBO, Bad Robot and Legendary TV, as well as Fifth Season and Johan Renck.

Previously, management and production company 42 has produced Agnieszka Smoczynska’s drama The Silent Twins for Focus, Lionsgate and Roadside’s spy pic The Courier starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and Netflix’s chart-topping sci-fi actioner Outside the Wire starring Anthony Mackie, among other titles. Among 42’s other upcoming projects — produced alongside Blossom Films — is Amazon’s thriller Holland, Michigan, starring Nicole Kidman, Gael García Bernal and Matthew Macfadyen.

Gullón is repped by 42’s Dealbert and attorney Robert Szymanski. JSSK handled 42’s producing arrangements.

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