Marshall developing ‘Grace’

NEW YORK — Director Penny Marshall has agreed to develop “Saving Grace” with an eye toward directing the film at Universal. Marshall’s Parkway Prods. will team in a co-production with Verna Harrah’s Middle Fork Prods. Harrah produced the hit snake pic “Anaconda.”

Scripted by Jeremy Miller and Daniel Cohn, the film is the story of a playboy record producer who discovers the family he never knew he had, as a result of a passionate love affair he had 20 years earlier.

Harrah was a partner in Cinema Line Films Corp. before hatching Middle Fork Prods. She will produce the film with Marshall and Susan Ruskin, Middle Fork president of production. “It’s very exciting to have Penny on board for this project,” she said. “Susan and I have nurtured this script and feel that Penny is perfectly suited for this romantic comedy.”

Marshall last directed “The Preacher’s Wife” with Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston. She hasn’t determined her next directing assignment, and “Saving Grace” is a possibility. Like she did with Cinema Line, Harrah continues to finance the development of projects before setting them up at studios when they’re ready to go into production.

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