Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Cross Creek Pictures has stepped up to finance A Walk Among the Tombstones, an adaptation of the Lawrence Block novel that seemed to have been put to rest more than a decade ago. DJ Caruso is in discussions to direct a script by Scott Frank. It is one of two pictures Caruso is considering for his next film. The other is Preacher, the John August-scripted film for Sony Pictures and producer Neal Moritz.

Double Feature partners Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher are producing with Danny DeVito and Cross Creek president Brian Oliver. Shamberg, Sher and DeVito first got Frank to write a script while they were partners in Jersey Films. It had been set at Universal and once had Harrison Ford interested in playing Matthew Scudder, an alcoholic former cop who spends his retirement doing favors for friends, the kind that take him deep into the underbelly of New York City. In A Walk Among the Tombstones, a heroin kingpin’s wife is kidnapped and those kidnappers begin to send her back in pieces. The Scudder character was previously seen in 8 Million Ways To Die.

A Walk Among the Tombstones got close, but then languished for about 14 years as edgy dramas went out of fashion. Insiders tell me that CAA Film Finance Group’s Roeg Sutherland helped to revive it by plugging in Cross Creek, one of the new crop of film financiers that gained prominence for funding the Darren Aronofsky-directed Black Swan. That was another project dying a development hell death for over a decade when CAA brought Cross Creek into that picture. At a $13 million budget, Black Swan grossed $327 million worldwide and put Cross Creek on the map. Cross Creek is also in the middle of the George Clooney-directed The Ides of March and several other pictures. There are over 20 books in the Scudder series, and the hope is to hatch a franchise. The tone is R-rated, comparable to Taken or No Country For Old Men. Caruso most recently directed I Am Number Four, Eagle Eye and Disturbia. He’s repped by CAA and Media Talent Group’s Geyer Kosinski.