Jersey Films is in final negotiations to ink a mid-six-figure deal with “Fight Club” scribe Jim Uhls to adapt “Pagan Babies” from the novel by Elmore Leonard.
Project will be produced by Jersey toppers Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher. Kevin Hardesty, Jersey’s veep of production, brought Uhls to Jersey’s attention.
“Pagan Babies” revolves around Father Terry Dunn, a Rwandan missionary who had fled the U.S. to avoid prison after police cracked his cigarette smuggling scam.
Universal and Jersey snagged the film rights in April, slapping down mid-six-figures against $2.5 million to $3 million. “Pagan Babies” is due in bookstores via Delacore in early September. (Daily Variety, April 10, 2000).
Jersey previously produced movie versions of two other Leonard novels: “Out of Sight” and “Get Shorty.”
Uhls created and is exec producing for DreamWorks/NBC a midseason pickup, “Semper Fi,” which chronicles an entering class of Marines on Parris Island.
Last year, Uhls sold his original spec “Mace & Mardi” to Jodie Foster’s Paramount-based Egg Pictures. Foster is attached to produce and star. Icon is also on board as producer, and Gibson may reteam with Foster and co-star. Uhls is rewriting the script.
Uhls also wrote “Trick Monkey,” set up with MGM for Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Prods.
Jersey was unavailable for comment.
Uhls’ deal is being negotiated by his agent Jim Rosen at Broder, Kurland, Webb, Uffner and attorney Alan Hergott at Bloom, Hergott, Diemer and Cook.