Suzanne Herz, the Doubleday senior veep who has worked closely with that imprint’s signature authors John Grisham and Dan Brown, has been upped to EVP and Executive Director of Publishing. She continues to report to Anthony Chirico, President of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Here’s the just-released internal memo from Chirico:
It gives me great pleasure to announce that Suzanne Herz, Senior Vice President, Publishing, Doubleday, is being named Executive Vice President, Executive Director of Publishing, Doubleday. The appointment takes effect immediately, and she will continue to report to me.
Suzanne has been a driving force behind some of our most successful publishing campaigns. Her work with Dan Brown and John Grisham has helped those authors to become global brands and enjoy successive multimillion-copy #1 bestsellers.
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EXCLUSIVE: Fox 2000 is moving forward with an adaptation of the 2012 John Grisham bestseller The Racketeer, setting Frank Baldwin to write the script. Double Features partners Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher are producing. The novel revolves around a former marine-turned-attorney in a small Virginia law firm who unwittingly gets caught up in a shady deal and is given a decade sentence after an FBI sweep. His career and marriage in tatters, he gains leverage when a judge is murdered and he’s the only one who knows why and what was kept in the judge’s empty safe. He gets sprung, but is not near done getting revenge against the feds that put him behind bars. The project was originally set up with Fox 2000 and New Regency but the latter exited when talks with Safe House helmer Daniel Espinosa hit the rocks. Baldwin has done the Black List scripts When Corruption Was King and The Art Of Making Money. Baldwin is repped by WME and Leverage’s Michael Garnett.
Chris Columbus’ 1492 Pictures has acquired the rights to John Grisham’s bestselling novel Calico Joe, and Columbus will adapt it himself and direct. Set in the world of Major League Baseball, the novel is about fathers and sons, forgiveness and redemption. Book was published in April by Doubleday and has been atop the New York Times bestseller list since it hit bookshelves.
“When I finished this beautiful, deeply moving novel, I immediately started to see the movie in my head,” Columbus said. “I knew that I had to write and direct Calico Joe. The story deals with universal themes of betrayal, tragedy and redemption. It has the potential to be a classic film and I am honored to be a part of it.” – Chris Columbus
Said Grisham: “Calico Joe is a special story that I worked on for five years. I can’t wait to see Chris’s adaptation of it.” – John Grisham
Grisham will executive produce, and Columbus will produce with his partners, 1492 Pictures’ President Michael Barnathan and Mark Radcliffe. They most recently produced The Help.
Columbus and 1492 Pictures are repped by WME. Grisham is repped by David Gernert of The Gernert Company.
EXCLUSIVE: The Blind Side director John Lee Hancock has been set to write and direct The Partner, based on the John Grisham bestseller. The project is set up at New Regency, whose principal, Arnon Milchan, previously adapted the Grisham novels A Time To Kill, The Client and Runaway Jury, back in the day when Grisham was getting up to $8 million for movie rights to his legal thrillers.
Hancock has also been circling Highwaymen, the John Fusco-scripted drama about the vet cops dragged out of retirement to hunt down bank robbers Bonny and Clyde. If Hancock commits to that film, he’ll do The Partner next.
Published in 2005, The Partner is about Patrick Lanigan, a young partner in a white shoe Biloxi law firm with a wife and newborn daughter. Trapped in a burning car one night, he died, leaving behind only ashes. But Lanigan is disillusioned enough by his life to fake his death and steal $90 million from his firm. He just has to hope the wrong people don’t catch up with him as he goes on the run. CAA-repped Hancock made his directing debut on The Rookie, after scripting such films as A Perfect World and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
With all the attention on the new series pickups at NBC, let’s not forget that the network has been eyeing another new series on tap for next season that has larger order than any of the newly picked-up shows – The Firm. I hear the deal for a 22-episode straight-to-series order to the project based on John Grisham’s best-seller is now done and the network has taped a clip with Grisham for its Monday upfront presentation. The series, from eOne in association with Sony Pictures Networks and Paramount Pictures, is being readied for a September launch though it is unclear if NBC will commit to it being on the fall schedule before casting has been done. The series, which also will be broadcast on Sony’s AXN networks in more than 125 territories internationally, picks up 10 years after the 1993 feature left off.
Nearly two decades after John Grisham’s The Firm made him a household name, the novel is becoming a TV series, which has locked in wide international distribution and is close to landing a domestic network too. NBC is in negotiations to pick up the 22-episode series, produced by eOne Television in association with SPT networks and Paramount Pictures, which owns the rights to the property and produced the 1993 movie directed by Sidney Pollack and starring Tom Cruise.
The Firm, adapted by writer Lucas Reiter, secured a green light for 22 episodes even before talks with NBC started, based solely on international distribution. As part of the partnership between eOne and SPT, the series will be broadcast on Sony’s AXN networks in more than 125 territories around the world. The domestic sale is handled by eOne, which retained basic and pay TV, broadcast and digital/DVD rights for the show outside of AXN markets and handles distribution worldwide, including the U.S. and Canada. Casting for The Firm is under way, with production expected to begin in Canada in July.
The series picks up 10 years after the 1993 feature left off. It reintroduces Mitch McDeere, the young lawyer played in the movie by Cruise, who brought down a prestigious Memphis law firm operating as a front for the Chicago mob. McDeere and his family emerge from isolation after 10 years in the … Read More »
It is decision time for director Tony Scott. Tracking board missives made the rounds today that Scott might direct an adaptation of the John Grisham novel The Associate for Paramount, which has a script by William Monahan and a longstanding attachment by Shia LaBeouf. The story was picked up tonight by the LA Times. This has been something Scott has been mulling for weeks, but nobody would confirm because Scott has others he has to decide between for his next slot. Top of that list is Potzdamer Platz, the drama financed through True Romance producer Sammy Hadida, and the Fox 2000 drama Hell’s Angels. The latter project has a script coming in imminently by Scott Frank, with Mickey Rourke and La Beouf as Scott’s choices to play the two lead roles. Read More »
William Monahan, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of The Departed, has signed with management firm Anonymous Content’s Michael Sugar. Sugar joins WME’s Chris Donnelly and attorney David Fox on Monahan’s rep team. Monahan is in post-production on London Boulevard, making his directing debut on a script he wrote, with Colin Farrell and Keira Knightley starring for GK Films. He’s also adapted the John Grisham novel The Associate, and The Falcon’s Tale, for Paramount, but it seems clear he wants to continue to make directing a priority. Sugar’s filmmaker list includes Steven Soderbergh, Spider-Man’s Marc Webb, Tron Legacy’s Joe Kosinski and Wolverine helmer Gavin Hood.