According to Variety, DreamWorks has swooped in and purchased the spec script Things We Lost in the Fire by Allan Loeb for Sam Mendes to produce.

The spec went out over the July Fourth weekend and caused a stir, but the deal was sealed -- in large part due to the appeal of Mendes, who has a production shingle at DreamWorks -- before most of the majors could get in on the bidding.

The story follows a woman whose husband dies suddenly, leaving her alone with two children; she invites her husband's troubled best friend to live with them. As the friend turns his life around, he helps the fractured family confront the emotional void left by the loss.

Mendes recently wrapped the Gulf War pic Jarhead, which Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher are producing for Universal. He's also exec producing DreamWorks' The Kite Runner, based on the novel by Khaled Hosseini.