EXCLUSIVE: Paramount and Indian Paintbrush have hired Chris Terrio to write A Murder Foretold, the fact-based drama based on the David Grann article in the April 4 issue of The New Yorker about a series of high-level murders in Guatemala. The film will be produced by Film Rites’ Steve Zaillian and Garrett Basch and Indian Paintbrush’s Steven Rales and Mark Roybal. Terrio is coming off Argo, the Ben Affleck-directed drama that is currently in production at Warner Bros. I’m told Terrio will script A Murder Foretold before getting started on an adaptation of the Harlan Coben novel Tell No One, which was previously turned into a French film.
A Murder Foretold takes place in a country devastated by killings routinely perpetrated by everyone from secret police to drug dealers. Rodrigo Rosenberg, a wealthy businessman who watched his wife-to-be get assassinated along with her father, was later gunned down while riding his bicycle. His murder stirred up an entire country frustrated by the endless waves of violence, sometimes involving corrupt government officials. At his funeral, Rosenberg had an intermediary disperse copies of a videocassette he had recorded himself, one that implicated the president, his wife, and other close aides in his killing. A special prosecutor was appointed, and he followed a trail of clues that led to an unbelievable conclusion and a real crackdown on violence in Guatemala. The project sold in a multi-studio bidding battle last April. Grann and … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Media Rights Capital has made a pre-emptive acquisition of the Jonathan Lethem novel As She Climbed Across the Table, in a package that has David Cronenberg directing, Bruce Wagner writing and Film Rites’ Steve Zaillian and Garrett Basch producing. Lethem is the author of Motherless Brooklyn.
The novel is a love triangle among an academic, his particle-physicist girlfriend, and the black hole that comes as the result of her lab experiments to replicate the origins of the universe. The physicist dumps her boyfriend to spend all her time with the black hole — which she calls Lack — and the university professor will do anything to win her back, even confronting his rival for her affections and risking a trip down a cosmic rabbit hole. The premise has comedic and thriller elements, and Film Rites brought it first to Cronenberg, who has covered dangerous and creepy obsessions in films ranging from The Fly to Crash and Dead Ringers. The film reteams Cronenberg with Wagner. Cronenberg was exec producer on Wagner’s adaptation of his own novel, I’m Losing You. Read More »
Michel Gondry is adapting and is attached to direct Ubik, the legendary book by scifi author Philip K. Dick. Steve Zaillian and Steve Golin are producing through Film Rites and Anonymous Content, with Golin putting up the financing for development until they shop to studios. (Zaillian’s Film Rites has its first look through DreamWorks, so the project could end up there.) The book was called one of the 100 greatest novels of all-time by Time Magazine. Film Rites’ Garrett Basch will be exec producer. The book is a metaphysical comedy of death and salvation, revolving around dead characters who give business advice, plan their next incarnation, and risk dying once again.
The late author, whose Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep was turned into Blade Runner, next has The Adjustment Bureau coming with George Nolfi directing Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, and a remake of Total Recall in the works with Colin Farrell starring for director Len Wiseman.