U picks up snow job pic

Witherspoon will star in Antarctic mystery

Universal Pictures will produce “Whiteout,” an Antarctic whodunit adapted from a series of graphic novels by Greg Rucka, recently put into turnaround by Columbia Pictures.

Reese Witherspoon will star in the pic, which Wolfgang Petersen and producer Gail Katz are developing through Petersen’s shingle, Radiant Prods.

Witherspoon’s Type A Films will also produce the pic, though some of the individual producing credits are still being negotiated.

Radiant exec Susan Stein will co-produce.

“Whiteout” is the story of a female U.S. marshal living in self-imposed exile in Antarctica. Her quiet life of relative solitude is dramatically changed when she is called upon to investigate the first murder on that continent.

Witherspoon, repped by WMA, was not involved with the project when it was set up at Columbia.

Petersen and Katz, who were to produce the pic at Col, brought the project to Witherspoon. Type A Films just inked a first-look deal with U.

Universal Pictures co-prexy of production Mary Parent and VP Dylan Clark are overseeing the project at the studio. As yet, no writer or director is attached, though the screenwriting duo of Jon and Erich Hoeber (“Montana”) wrote a draft for Columbia.

Rucka and illustrator Steve Lieber published the series with Oni Press. The writer is repped by Writers & Artists and lit agent David Hale Smith.

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