Columbia Pictures acquires film rights to Neil Strauss’ book; to star Robert Downey Jr.


MUMBAI: Columbia Pictures has optioned the rights for the non-fiction book Emergency!: This Book Will Save Your Life by Neil Strauss to be developed into a feature film produced by Robert Downey Jr., Susan Downey, and Michael DeLuca.

The project is being considered as a possible starring vehicle for Downey. Allan Loeb (Wall Street 2, Dilemma) is writing the screenplay.

Emergency traces one man’s story of a dangerous world–and how to stay alive in it or die trying. It is Strauss’s white-knuckled journey through a country that’s lost its sense of safety, as one man equips himself with the tools necessary to save himself and his loved ones from an uncertain future. He sets out to move his life offshore, and in the process, he learns to survive in the wild, and remake himself as a gun-toting, lock-picking, plane-flying, government-defying survivor. It’s a tale of paranoid fantasies and crippling doubts, of shady lawyers and dangerous cult leaders, of billionaire gun nuts and survivalist superheroes, of weirdoes, heroes, and ordinary citizens taking their families off the grid.

Columbia Pictures president Matt Tolmach said, "Neil Strauss is a tremendous talent and we think Emergency! is his best work yet. It’s a hugely entertaining read that couldn’t be more timely or topical. We think there is a fantastic film in this book and Robert and Susan, and of course, Mike are the perfect producers to take on the themes of this project.”

De Luca added, “The book is a study in male panic and since I specialized in that throughout the 90’s I felt a true kinship with the material.”

David Gambino will oversee the project for Team Downey. Josh Bratman will develop the project along with DeLuca and Tolmach and Andrea Giannetti will oversee the title on behalf of Columbia Pictures.