Mike Fleming

Back in June, Deadline revealed that Fox 2000 had acquired the Robert Harris thriller novel Fear Index, about a scientist who uses a revolutionary system of computer algorithms to trade on the volatility of the world’s financial markets. His hedge fund is wildly successful until he is targeted by an intruder who breaks into his home. At the time, I’d heard that Paul Greengrass was attached to direct, and his reps at CAA denied it. I wrote it anyway. Now, Harris has said in an interview for his soon to be published book that Greengrass is indeed going to direct and the filmmaker’s reps are now acknowledging it’s true. The novel will be published next month in the UK and January in the US. Chernin Entertainment’s Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark and Jenno Topping are the producers. and Harris is scripting it. Greengrass next directs the Somali pirate pic A Captain’s Duty with Tom Hanks starring for Sony Pictures.

Robert Zemeckis has officially dropped out of the Warner Bros drama Replay, and the studio is trying to put the Jason Smilovic-scripted film back together with another filmmaker. Zemeckis exited because he has finally committed to direct Denzel Washington in the Paramount thriller Flight.

In the John Gatins-scripted drama, Washington plays a commercial airline pilot named Whip Whitaker. When his plane malfunctions and a crash seems imminent, he saves the day with some heroic flying and manages to land the plane with minimal casualties. He’s instantly hailed as a hero, but as an investigation into the cause of the crash unfolds, it becomes clear that he was flying under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The film is the pilot’s journey as he is encouraged to wear a hero label he thinks he doesn’t deserve, while the pilot’s union and airline try to keep the facts under cover because of the high stakes involved. Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald are producing.