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A recent US press release promises a central role for the circle phenomenon in a forthcoming Hollywood blockbuster. Swirled News speculates on what we should expect…

It has long been thought surprising by some researchers that crop circles have never yet made it into a movie (though TV sci-fi series like ‘Dark Skies’ and ‘The X Files’ have featured them, and the makers of the Jodie Foster film ‘Contact’ gathered a lot of circle information which wasn’t used in the final cut). Now it sounds like that situation is about to change. Given that the maker of the proposed new production is known for dark ‘supernatural thrillers’, though, it can be fairly guessed that the lighter side of their nature is unlikely to be to the fore. If this cinematic outing follows the usual media treatment of the subject, accurate representation of the phenomenon and those who investigate it should hardly be expected either…

The announcement, made in the movie industry bible ‘Variety’, reads as follows:



NEW YORK (Variety) - In a likely eight-figure deal, Walt Disney Pictures has made a pre-emptive purchase of 'Signs', another supernatural thriller from M. Night Shyamalan, the writer/director of 'The Sixth Sense' and 'Unbreakable'. Shyamalan delivered the script on Saturday. Disney brass read it quickly and came to terms with Shyamalan's agents and attorneys by early Sunday morning. Disney also handled 'The Sixth Sense' and 'Unbreakable' which collectively grossed nearly $1 billion worldwide.

Like those two films, 'Signs' takes place in Shyamalan's home state of Pennsylvania. It revolves around the sudden appearance of a 500' array of circles and lines found mysteriously carved into the crops of a farm family in Bucks County. Shooting will begin in the fall.

None of those parties would comment on the amount Shyamalan will be paid, but he got $10 million upfront for his last film, 2000's 'Unbreakable' and his dealmakers undoubtedly wouldn't have taken less in a pre-emptive transaction without shopping the script to other studios.

The 'Unbreakable' deal, which included $5 million for his ‘spec’ script, broke the spec auction record previously held by Shane Black, who got $4 million from New Line for 'The Long Kiss Goodnight'.

Shyamalan has been a franchise filmmaker for Disney since the studio won a spec script auction of 1999's 'The Sixth Sense' for $3 million.”


Rumour has it that Mel Gibson is being considered for the lead, but if any budding cerealogical actors wish to put their names forward, doubtless Disney will be pleased to hear from them… not.

In an e-mail distributed by David Kingston, Colin Andrews has expressed regret that “while the script will no doubt evolve around some of our [Colin and Pat Delgado’s] experiences and research findings and all the strange experiences we and others since have had, $10,000,000 was paid in full by Disney films to the script writer only”…

We at Swirled News will, of course, be putting in our own claim for deserved payment, and doubtless the cheque will come. Now what shall it be… a percentage share of the gross? Or just a flat fee? It’s all so hard to decide!

(With thanks to Ron Russell for information.)



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