Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Akiva Goldsman is set to make his feature directorial debut on Winter’s Tale, the 1983 Mark Helprin novel that Goldsman adapted. Warner Bros has set the picture for a spring 2012 start. Goldsman will make the picture after he, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer complete The Dark Tower, the adaptation of the Stephen King novel series for Universal Pictures, which has Javier Bardem in talks to star as mythical gunslinger Roland Deschain. Goldsman wrote that script and is producing The Dark Tower with Grazer and King.

Goldsman, who won the Oscar for scripting A Beautiful Mind, has previously directed episodes of Fringe, on which he’s a consulting producer. Helprin’s novel is a story that centers around a thief, a dying girl and a flying white horse in 19th Century and contemporary Manhattan. Goldsman sparked to the fantasy element of the tale, and the fact that it is an unabashed love letter to the city where he grew up. The picture is a large scale $75 million effort, and Warner Bros is about to cast up the key roles including Peter Lake, the orphaned mechanic who tries to rob a palatial West Side mansion. And the young dying girl who meets him there, who he becomes determined to save. CAA reps Goldsman.