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December 10, 1998

'Specials' save day for Mindfire

Zorianna Kit
The Hollywood Reporter

An actionless movie about action heroes?

Rob Lowe, Jamie Kennedy ("Scream"), Thomas Haden Church ("George of the Jungle"), Judy Greer ("Jawbreaker"), Kelly Coffield ("Jerry Maguire") and Melissa Joan Hart will star in "The Specials," an indie feature that rolled into production last week for Mindfire Entertainment.

Written by James Gunn, who also stars in the film about a group of dysfunctional superheroes, "The Specials" aims to do for superhero action films what "Scream" did for horror movies: breathe life into a genre that has transformed into a disappointing big-budget/low-substance format.

Budgeted at about $1 million, "The Specials" focuses on the human, emotional aspects of superheroes _ petty jealousy, infighting, insecurity and sexual weakness.

Kennedy brought the project to Peter Safran at Brillstein-Grey and writer Craig Mazin, who will make his directorial debut on the film. Dan Bates, Mark Altman and Robert Meyer Burnett at Mindfire are producing the film in association with Brillstein-Grey. Rick Mischel is also producing.

Mazin has a two-picture writing deal at Dimension Films along with writing partner Greg Erb, with whom he wrote Disney's "Stretch Armstrong." The duo's writing credits include "Senseless" and "RocketMan."

Gunn, who wrote "Tromeo and Juliet," is writing the feature "Spy vs. Spy" at Warner Bros. with Jay Roach attached to direct. He is also writing a pilot for the WB network.

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