Paramount Purchase Jonathan Stokes’ Spec Script ‘Murder In The White House’ | Film News


Per Deadline, Paramount Pictures have purchased the rights to Jonathan Stokes‘ spec script, Murder In The White House, in a preemptive mid-six against seven-figure deal.


The screenplay is reportedly Knives Out-esque, which makes Paramount’s purchase make total sense considering the recent success of that film. It’s a whodunit set inside the White House. The President is murdered during a private dinner, and a female Secret Service agent has until morning to discover which guest is the killer before a peace agreement fails and leads to war.


Neal Moritz and Toby Jaffe will produce for Original Film. Reportedly, Stokes’ manager – Scott Carr at Management SGC – took the script out to producers just last Friday. By the end of the weekend, Stokes’ lawyer was closing the deal. That’s good work.


This isn’t Stokes’ first screenplay though. He’s previously had four of his scripts land on The Black List, the yearly list of best unproduced screenplays, and has made sales to Warner Bros., Universal, Sony and New Line, so this is nothing new for him. He currently has an untitled TV series in the works at Warner Bros., and is in post-production on his directorial debut, Wildcat.


He’s also an author, and has written seven novels in his Addison Cooke & Thrifty Time Travel Guide series. So, he’s proficient. The premise for Murder In The White House sounds fun, but could also have several interesting angles regarding foreign policy and security. Knives Out was gleefully enjoyable with a political edge, so this could be similar. We’ll wait and see exactly how it turns out.



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