‘Theory’ works for Par

Mandoki to helm child custody drama

Paramount Pictures has paid mid-six figures to option the feature film rights to the Jacquelyn Mitchard novel “A Theory of Relativity” for producer Jordan Kerner.

Playwright-screenwriter Lisa Loomer will pen the script, which Luis Mandoki (“Trapped”) will direct.

The domestic drama concerns the custody of a 5-year-old girl when a tragic accident happens to her parents and centers on the journey of the victim’s brother, who becomes a man by becoming a father.

Kerner Entertainment exec VP Paul Neesan will oversee development and serve as exec producer.

Project reteams Mandoki and Kerner; they last worked together on “When a Man Loves a Woman,” starring Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia, for Touchstone Pictures.

Mitchard previously wrote the bestselling novel “The Deep End of the Ocean,” which sold more than 10 million copies worldwide and was made into a film starring Michelle Pfeiffer. She is repped by ICM, as is Loomer. Mitchard is also repped by New York-based book agent Jane Gelfman.

“Relativity” was published last year by HarperCollins.

Mandoki’s “Trapped,” starring Charlize Theron and Kevin Bacon, goes out Sept. 20 through Sony Pictures Entertainment.

The helmer, whose credits include “Angel Eyes” and “Message in a Bottle,” is prepping the thriller “Need” for Sony-based Escape Artists; that pic will star Halle Berry. He is repped by WMA and managed by the Firm.

Kerner Entertainment recently signed a four-year overall production deal at Paramount. Kerner’s recent producing credits include “Snow Dogs,” “Inspector Gadget” and “George of the Jungle.”

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