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'Rollercoaster Tycoon' riding to the screen for Sony Pictures Animation

'Rollercoaster Tycoon' riding to the screen for Sony Pictures Animation (exclusive)
by Borys Kit

March 12....Sony is getting into the roller-coaster theme park business....sort of.

Sony Pictures Animation has pre-emptively picked up rights to the Atari video game "Rollercoaster Tycoon." Harald Zwart is spearheading the development of the big-screen adaptation as a possible directing project and will executive produce.

David Ronn and Jay Scherick, who penned the upcoming Kevin James comedy "The Zookeeper," are attached to write what will be a live-action/CGI hybrid.

The "Tycoon" franchise, created by Chris Sawyer, is a popular series of computer games that simulate a combination of designing roller coasters and amusement park management. Each game challenges players with open-ended amusement park management and development while allowing them to construct and customize their own unique roller coasters.

The games are popular in the PC world, generating more than $300 million in sales and giving Atari bragging rights for having the third-best-selling PC title of all time in the U.S.

Atari's Jim Wilson will exec produce with Nick Reed and Zwart.

Zwart directed Sony's "The Karate Kid," the upcoming remake of the 1980s classic that is produced by Will Smith and stars his son Jaden Smith.

In addition to working on "Zookeeper," Ronn and Scherick are writing "The Smurfs" for Sony Animation. They also are in production on a pilot for ABC titled "Southern Discomfort," starring Don Johnson and Mary Steenburgen.

Zwart, Ronn, Scherick and Atari are repped by ICM, which packaged the project.

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