Sony Pictures has shelled out a whopping $1 million for the hot spec script Winter's Knight from writers Ben Lustig and Jake Thornton, with Espen Sandberg and Joachim Rønning (Kon-Tiki, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) attached to direct.
Even though Sony paid the writers $1 million, Deadline reveals that other studios such as Universal are still in the mix, since the deal is contingent on directors Espen Sandberg and Joachim Rønning signing on as well, with their deals expected to be in the mid-seven figure range.
The story explores Santa Claus and Christmas' roots in Viking mythology, although specific plot details are being kept under wraps. While the high-concept plot is one of the reasons the script attracted so much heat, Espen Sandberg and Joachim Rønning being attached is said to be a primary factor as to why so many studios are interested.
Shooting will take place after the filmmakers wrap on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which is said to begin production later this year. They are also directing the Marco Polo pilot for Netflix, which is said to be one of the biggest and most ambitious pilots in TV history.