Election escapade enlists politco pro Lurie

Rod Lurie will direct the romantic comedy “Beat the Eagle” for Intermedia Films.

Written by Oscar-winning screenwriter Tom Schulman (“Dead Poet’s Society”), pic is the story of a beloved two-term president who retires to a small East Coast town to write his memoirs. When asked to becoming the town’s mayor, he finds himself challenged for the post by a local hardware proprietor and the election escalates into a battle royal.

Lurie has made a name for himself helming politically oriented dramas of the high-minded sort, including “The Contender” for DreamWorks and “Deterrence” for Paramount Classics.

“It’s so funny, commercial and high-quality that I was surprised they offered it to me,” Lurie told Daily Variety. “It’s a big gift. It’s a way of staying involved in a world that I love, but in a different genre.”

No producer is attached. The script will get a quick polish before going out to cast.

Lurie, repped by APA, most recently directed Robert Redford starrer “The Last Castle” for DreamWorks and also helmed a two-hour pilot for ABC called “Capital City” — about a young political aide who decides to run against her boss for a seat in Congress.

Schulman, repped by the William Morris Agency, also wrote “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” (1989) and “What About Bob?” (1991).

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