The LA Weekly's Nikki Finke reports that Sony is making Da Vinci Code adapter Akiva Goldsman, a man whose career highlights include depicting schizophrenics as people who spend their days scribbling on dirty windows while playing with imaginary friends and assisting in the destruction of the Batman franchise, the best-paid writer in town by forking over $4 million for him to churn out a script for Da Vinci sequel Angels & Demons:
I'm about to give all the Hollywood moguls indigestion before they've even taken a bite of their Thanksgiving meal. That's because I'm told that Akiva Goldsman, who adapted Dan Brown's worldwide bestseller into a $755.6 mil hit pic, is receiving $4 million for the Da Vinci Code sequel in the works by both Imagine Entertainment and Sony Pictures. Not only is that major moola, but agents are telling me this represents a new $$$ high for hiring a screenwriter. And, no, Goldsman isn't getting a producer credit, so this is for straight scribbling. "That would be a lot for a pure writer's credit," one agent gushed. "It puts Akiva in the absolute top of his profession." (Actually, the first rumor I heard was an astounding $6 mil, but the truth is $2 mil less than that. As for whether the deal also includes gross points, dunno.)
If this deal is going to set a new market for screenwriter salaries, we sincerely hope that Charlie Kaufman's agent is on the phone right now, letting everyone in town know that if "that hack Goldsman is getting four mil a script to cut-and-paste shitty Dan Brown dialogue into Final Draft, my guy isn't getting out of bed for less than five."