WB docks ‘Patient’ rights

Wyle/Katz Co. to produce medical thriller

Warner Bros. Pictures has acquired the feature rights to Michael Palmer’s bestselling medical thriller “The Patient” for Noah Wyle and Jim Katz’s Warners-based Wyle/Katz Co.

“The Patient,” which occupies the No. 18 slot on the New York Times bestseller list, is the story of a neurosurgeon, Jessie Copeland, who is responsible for refining a robot that can perform brain surgery. When a terrorist known as the Mist takes hospital staff and patients hostage as he demands that the device operate on his own brain tumor, Jessie and a rogue CIA agent must decide what it’s worth to keep a madman alive.

Wyle and Katz will produce the project and are seeking a writer to adapt the book. It has not been determined whether Wyle will take a role in the film.

Warner Bros. Pictures exec VP Rob Guralnick will oversee the project for the studio along with Wyle/Katz director of development Marlene Noble.

Katz told Daily Variety that he was particularly intrigued by the book’s female protagonist. “You always see action movies that are sort of predictable, and this was an opportunity to turn the tables a little bit.”

Palmer also penned “Extreme Measures,” which was adapted into the 1996 feature directed by Michael Apted and starring Gene Hackman and Hugh Grant.

Project reps the first major acquisition for Wyle/Katz since the outfit was launched on the Warners lot last November. Features in development at the production company include Keith Bernstein’s “Capital Offense” and “Dick and Jane” from “Town and Country” scribe Michael Laughlin.Repping Wyle/Katz for “The Patient” were CAA and attorney Geoff Oblath of Armstrong, Hirsch. Acting on Palmer’s behalf were AMG in conjunction with the Jane Rotrosen Agency in New York.

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