ANGLING FOR HELMERS ON ‘THE ALIENIST’

To entice script-laden studio executives into paying particular attention to his project “The Alienist,” producer Scott Rudin had Steven Katz’s adaptation of Caleb Carr’s 19th century murder mystery bound in a leather volume, complete with period photographs of New York City.

Katz has spent the past couple of months adapting the bestseller about a series of murders in Manhattan. And after checking out the script, Rudin was so pleased with the material that he felt a cardboard cover just did not do it justice.

A handful of Paramount execs received the delicate volume, and the lure seems to have caught the attention of several directors including Peter Weir (“The Last Wave”) and Philip Kaufman (“Rising Sun”) who all have nibbling at the prospect of helming the story, which features a great cameo by then- N.Y.C. Police Chief Teddy Roosevelt.

The notion of a go movie at Paramount would be a welcome prospect for Katz, who is a well-known scribe within development circles, but has yet to have a script become a major theatrical release.

Katz wrote two episodes for the Showtime series “Fallen Angels,” and other scripts of his scattered around town include a period drama about the Booth family called “American Gothic,” which Sydney Pollacks Mirage Enterprises is developing.

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