The Passion of the Ark: According to Variety, in one of the more expensive spec sales in years, two unproduced scribes have sold their fantastical spec The Passion of the Ark to Sony's Columbia Pictures for $1.5 million against $2.5 million.

Scribes Bobby Florsheim and Josh Stolberg's modern-day tale of an unmarried man approached by God to build an ark to save the world from a second flood whetted the interest of all major studios, including Warners, Fox, and U. But it was Neal Moritz's Col-based Original Films shingle that prevailed, with Original exec Ori Marmur bringing in the red hot spec.

"We knew we wanted to do something mythological," said the Endeavor-repped Florsheim, adding, "and so we looked at everything from the Easter Bunny to Noah. And we thought, 'Hmmm. Bunnies. Animals. Noah. This could work.' "

Brian B.