'Salton' scribe writing

Rob Reiner will produce and direct an untitled thriller scripted by Tony Gayton for Castle Rock Entertainment, the company announced Wednesday.

Pic, based on an original idea by Reiner, centers on two high school students who commit a series of perfectly planned murders and then attempt to thwart an FBI agent working her first field case.

After reading Gayton’s script for “The Salton Sea,” which Time Warner-owned Castle Rock is also producing, Reiner approached the scribe to work on his new project. Gayton will earn $500,000 against $850,000 for his efforts.

Reiner will produce the pic with writer-producer Richard Crystal, a creative consultant for Andrew Solt Prods.

Reiner directed the upcoming Castle Rock film “The Story of Us,” starring Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer. Universal will release “Story” in the U.S. on Oct. 15. Warner Bros. has overseas rights. (All Castle Rock’s titles are jointly distributed by Warners and U.)

The last pic Reiner directed was “Ghosts of Mississippi.” Prior to that he directed “The American President,” “A Few Good Men” and “When Harry Met Sally,” among others.

Last month, Castle Rock chairman Alan Horn departed the company to become president of Warner Bros. Pictures (Daily Variety, Aug. 3).

Gayton is repped by APA’s David Saunders.

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