Christopher McQuarrie has signed on for double duty with United Artists.
UA has brought in the Oscar-winning scribe to write and produce two high-profile projects: The Champions and The Monster of Florence.
Champions is derived from a late-'60s British television series about a group of government agents who encounter a hidden civilization that grants them superhuman talents. McQuarrie is hashing out the script with Guillermo del Toro, who will also produce the film but is not attached to direct.
Tom Cruise and former UA co-owner and CEO Paula Wagner also are producing.
Monster tells the strange-but-true tale of popular author Douglas Preston and Italian journalist Mario Spezi, who began investigating a series of unsolved murders in Italy and wound up implicated in the case. Two years ago, McQuarrie optioned the film rights to Preston and Spezi's ensuing best-seller along with producers Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen (American Beauty). Cruise may take one of the leads in Florence.