EXCLUSIVE: Kario Salem has been set by DreamWorks to write an untitled crime thriller. He has already been working for the studio writing the Martin Luther King Jr movie that DreamWorks is doing with Warner Bros. Gary Foster, Russ Krasnoff and Adrienne Maloof are producing. The new project is inspired by true events. A decorated war hero returns home to a job as a police officer, and to the woman of his dreams. His world is turned on its head when everything he believes in turns out to be fiction. CAA-repped Salem is writing Scarpetta for Angelina Jolie to play the medical examiner heroine Kay Scarpetta from the Patricia Cornwell novels. He also scripted Mavericks, a Curtis Hanson-directed drama that will star Gerard Butler. Salem’s managed by Anonymous Content.
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures is finalizing a deal to develop a feature about the romance between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, as a directing vehicle for Martin Scorsese. The film will be produced by Julie Yorn, Gary Foster and Russ Krasnoff of Krasnoff Foster Productions, and Scorsese through his Paramount-based Sikelia banner. They are assembling the resources to tell Hollywood’s most famous star-crossed love story.
They’ve optioned Furious Love, the book by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger that was published by HarperCollins last year. At the same time, the producers have a rights agreement with Burton’s estate, and a pledge of cooperation from his widow, Sally Hay Burton, to make his library available as a resource. The filmmakers have also reached out to the estate of Taylor with the same hopes. A screenwriter will be hired shortly.
I’m told that Paramount made the book deal as other parties pursued the book, with other suitors including Oscar-winning Black Swan star Natalie Portman and The King’s Speech Oscar-winning scribe David Seidler. All this for a book that got 100 passes when initially shopped for a movie deal by the author’s reps, Justin Manask and David Kuhn. Film interest in the book — for which Taylor made available many of the love letters Burton wrote to her over the years — grew when Taylor passed away in March and reports focused on the relationship between Taylor and Burton.
EXCLUSIVE: Veteran feature writer George Gallo is venturing into television with a medical drama at NBC. The project, tentatively titled Dr. Henry, centers on the title character, an eccentric psychiatrist who, with the help of his team at his prestigious institute, digs into his patients’ psyches to help cure them of the most bizarre psychological afflictions. The drama, which draws parallels to Fox’s veteran House, M.D., will be produced by UMS. Gallo is executive producing with Russ Krasnoff, executive producer of NBC’s sophomore comedy series Community. Also exec producing is Gary Foster, Krasnoff’s partner at Krasnoff/Foster Entertainment. Dr. Henry is part of NBC’s efforts this season to develop dramas that add a twist to the traditional medical franchise. Gallo, whose credits include Midnight Run and Bad Boys, is one of several feature scribes entering TV this development season, along with Pirates of the Caribbean writer Terry Rossio, who is penning supernatural drama Magical Law for Fox and director Gore Verbinski, and The Proposal scribe Pete Chiarelli, who is writing an adaptation of Hitch for Fox.