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, it was announced today by Doug Belgrad and Matt Tolmach, presidents of Columbia Pictures. The project is being considered as a possible starring vehicle for Downey. Allan Loeb (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, 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.
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.
Neil Strauss is the author of six New York Times bestselling books, including “The Game,” “The Long Hard Road Out of Hell” with Marilyn Manson, “How to Make Love Like a Porn Star” with Jenna Jameson, and “The Dirt” with Motley Crue. He was a reporter and critic at The New York Times and currently writes for Rolling Stone, in addition to running the publishing company Igniter, an imprint of HarperCollins/It Books. His next book, “Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead,” is due in March.