Universal Pictures has won a bidding war for a pitch entitled The Real McCoy, which has Chris Pratt attached to star. Bill Dubuque (The Judge) wrote the pitch, which started making the studio rounds earlier this week, although meetings set for yesterday and today were canceled after Universal and Warner Bros. engaged in a bidding war for the project. Universal paid $1.5 million up front for the pitch, against $3 million, which will be paid out to the writer when the movie is produced.
The plot is based on the true story of bootlegger Bill McCoy, whose life inspired the title phrase The Real McCoy, meaning his liquor had not been cut. McCoy smuggled rum during the Depression Era straight from the Bahamas without any mafia involvement. The idea originated with producer Tom McNulty (The Spectacular Now), who pitched to Bill Dubuque before they both approached Chris Pratt, who The Hollywood Reporter reveals, "responded to it enthusiastically."
Tom McNulty will produce with Zero Gravity's Mark Williams on board to executive produce. Chris Pratt is coming off his star-making role in Guardians of the Galaxy, which has made him one of the most in-demand actors in Hollywood. He will next be seen in the highly-anticipated Jurassic World and he is also attached to star in Universal's Cowboy Ninja Viking.