Helmer worked on TNT's acclaimed 'James Dean'

Mark Rydell will direct thriller “The Locked Room” for RKO, based on the third novella in Paul Auster’s “The New York Trilogy.”

“The Locked Room” follows a young writer who, on the death of his best friend, takes over his friend’s life, wife and career, throwing his own life into a maelstrom.

RKO chairman-CEO Ted Hartley acquired the rights to the novella and will produce the picture. Screenplay was adapted by Lem Dobbs (“The Limey”) and Chloe King (“B. Monkey”).

Rydell recently directed the critically acclaimed “James Dean” for TNT, for which he received a Directors Guild nomination. He also co-starred as Jack Warner in that film.

Repped by Innovative Artists, Rydell’s feature directing credits include “On Golden Pond,” “The Reivers” and “The Rose.”

RKO recently completed principal photography on “Shade” and is scheduled to produce “Age of Consent” and “The Set Up” later this year.

The company also is developing “Richest Girl in the World” at 20th Century Fox, “Suspicion” for Dimension, “Monkey’s Paw” at DreamWorks and “Every Girl Should Be Married” at Paramount.

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