20-year-old Deverell novel resurfaces as option

NEW YORK — The plot of “Needles” is a doozy. A big-city district attorney’s office assigns its most talented lawyer to prosecute a powerful drug dealer. The only problem: The prosecutor is a heavy user and the indicted dealer is his main supplier.

Several movie companies have optioned “Needles” since it was first published as a novel by William Deverell in 1979, according to Sanjay Burman, an agent who signed the scribe as a client this summer. But for a variety of reasons the project has languished in development limbo.

Burman, who works out of Scarborough in Ontario, Canada, said “Needles” has landed a fresh option from Brad Christian, a Los Angeles-based director of Seventh Pictures who has done musicvideos and commercials.

Christian, represented by Dan Aloni of UTA, will write the adaptation of the novel and, if the project gets the go-ahead, will direct the movie. If the movie succeeds, Deverell stands to pocket up to $600,000, according to Burman.

Deverell is the author of six other novels and is the creator of a long-running lawyer show for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. called “Street Legal.”

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