Gray’s papal project

Industry nabs spec for 'The Yards' helmer

Industry Entertainment has acquired Rob Eshman’s original spec “Edgardo Mortara” to develop for helmer James Gray (“Little Odessa”).

Though the project is not yet set up at a studio, Industry is moving ahead with a rewrite, on which Gray and Eshman will collaborate.

Based on a widely documented incident that occurred in Bologna, Italy, in 1858, “Edgardo” centers on the kidnapping of a 6-year-old Jewish boy by the papal police. Claiming that the boy had been secretly baptized, the Catholic Church kept the boy under lock and key in the Vatican.

Much like the recent Elian Gonzalez affair, the struggle to return the boy to his parents created an international furor which in this case contributed to the diminution of the pope’s political power.

Industry’s Julia Chasman and Nick Wechsler will produce. The management/production firm’s Marc Evans will serve as an exec on the project.

Eshman is a first-time scribe who is also editor of the Jewish Journal.

Gray’s “The Yards,” which stars Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Charlize Theron and James Caan, will be released by Miramax Films later this fall. That pic was produced by Wechsler and FilmFour’s Paul Webster.

Eshman is repped by Todd Hoffman and Emile Gladstone at Broder, Kurland, Webb, Uffner and attorney David Krintzman.

Gray is repped by UTA and attorney Karl Austen at Armstrong, Hirsch, Jackoway, Tyerman and Wertheimer.

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