Director Daniel Espinosa (Safe House) is reportedly developing the John Grisham adaptation The Racketeer as a directing vehicle at Fox 2000 and New Regency. The judicial murder mystery novel, which released in October of 2012, centers on an attorney in federal prison who uses his singular knowledge about the murder of a federal judge in order to help solve the case and regain his freedom. The producers are currently searching for a writer to adapt the project. Hit the jump for more on The Racketeer.
After opting to take an executive producer role on the sequel to Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief instead of remaining in the director’s chair, Chris Columbus is lining up his next directorial project. Deadline reports that Columbus will produce, write and direct an adaptation of John Grisham’s baseball novel Calico Joe. The book centers on a 21-year-old AA first baseman who is called up to the Cubs when the team is in desperate need of a replacement. Grisham’s book is described as a novel of “fathers and sons, forgiveness and redemption.”
Columbus’ last two features, Percy Jackson and I Love You, Beth Cooper, were aimed at decidedly younger audiences, but it appears he’s headed back into family film territory with Calico Joe. The pic will also mark his first writing credit since 2004’s Christmas with the Cranks. He also scripted 1995’s Nine Months, which he directed. Hit the jump to read a synopsis for Calico Joe.
As the last movie he directed is one of my personal favorites (mostly because I’m in love with Diane Lane), I welcome the possibility of Adrian Lyne returning to the director’s chair. His last go round was in 2002′s Unfaithful, for which Lane received an Academy Award for Best Actress nomination. Lyne is reportedly now in negotiations to direct the adaptation of John Grisham’s The Associate for Paramount. The twisting and turning plot follows a young lawyer who is blackmailed by a number of organizations who each have their own nefarious interests in mind. The picture previously had Tony Scott attached to direct with Shia LaBeouf starring and Lorenzo di Bonaventura producing. Only di Bonaventura remains attached. Hit the jump for more.
Mark Wahlberg is in early talks to produce and star in New Regency’s adaptation of the John Grisham novel The Partner. The legal thriller revolves around “a young partner in a prominent law firm who fakes his own death to steal a fortune from his company before starting a new life in Brazil.” Wahlberg would board the project with his producing partner Stephen Levinson (Contraband). John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side) was attached to write and direct the adaptation, but Variety hears Hancock is no longer involved with the project. The studio is now on the search to replace Hancock.
Read a synopsis for The Partner after the jump.
Directing a Best Picture nominee (even one that’s only there because they had a few extra spaces on the ballot) will always be a sizable chip for advancing one’s career. Today comes news that The Blind Side helmer John Lee Hancock is cashing his in to write and direct New Regency’s The Partner. It’s an adaptation of the 1997 John Grisham novel about a jaded Mississippi lawyer Patrick Lanigan who, after four years on the run, is brought back to the US to answer for a laundry list of crimes including defrauding the government; as his attorney tries to build a defense, the real story of how Patrick faked his own death, stole a bunch of money and stayed one step ahead of the folks you inevitably piss of by faking your own death and stealing lots of money is gradually revealed. Per Deadline, this will be Hancock’s next film, even if he does happen to sign on for Highwaymen, a drama about retired cops tracking down Bonnie and Clyde that he’s been kicking the tires on.
No word yet on when The Partner will be making it to the silver screen, but an ill-conceived NBC TV adaptation is probably being tentatively scheduled for 2032. Hit the jump to read a synopsis for the novel.
It’s been twenty years since the book was published, and nearly as long since it was turned into a feature film starrring Tom Cruise. Now John Grisham’s novel The Firm looks to be heading to TV as EW reports NBC is negotiating for a full season order (that’s 22 episodes) to adapt the book into a legal drama series. Apparently the adaptation has been in the works for awhile, and was once set up at CBS, but never got off the ground. Law & Order producer Lukas Reiter is behind the project, and Grisham will executive produce (though he won’t be writing). Seems impressive for a new series to get a full season order right out of the gate with no pilot. For those unfamiliar with the novel or the film, we’ve included a synopsis after the jump.
At least in terms of commercial viability, you can never go wrong with a John Grisham novel. That just might be enough to hook Tony Scott, as 24 Frames reports the Englishman is “just a step away” from signing on to direct the Grisham adaptation The Associate. When we checked in with producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura early last month, he said LaBeouf is “attached,” though the report states more definitively that the young actor “is starring.”
Following Kingdom of Heaven and Body of Lies, The Associate represents the third script that William Monahan has written for the Scott family — brother Ridley Scott directed the first two. The plot centers on newly minted lawyer Kyle McAvoy (LaBeouf), the owner of a dark secret which falls into the wrong hands. Hit the jump for a full synopsis.
Just because studios start adapting John Grisham books into movies again, no one is going to start thinking it’s the 90s. That’s the plan, right? Make people remember the roaring 90s with silly adaptations of Grisham’s substance-free airplane reads? No? Then…why?
I cannot find the answer to that question in the Variety article which reports that 821 Entertainment will adapt Grisham’s 1999 book, “The Testament” which is about a billionaire leaving his fortune to his illigetimate daughter (who does charity work in the Brazilian wetlands and probably makes Jesus feel insecure about his deeds) instead of his greedy relatives. A down-and-out lawyer (who else) helps her battle her relatives over the fortune.
It turns out that the reason we haven’t seen any Grisham movies lately (unlike the 90s when there seemed to be one-per-year) is because he put a moratorium on the adaptations with one of his reasons being his lack of creative input on adaptations of his work; creative input he’ll now have for “The Testament”. It’s a good thing too because it would be a travesty if anyone ever sullied the integrity of a John Grisham novel.
Other Grisham books currently moving through production hell are Warner Bros. adaptation of “The Innocent Man” (Grisham’s only non-fiction book and is actually quite good), Phoenix Pictures on “Playing for Pizza”, and “The Associate” with Shia LaBeouf and Lorenzo di Bonaventura currently attached.