Helmer gives ‘Park’ sparks

Franklin eyed to helm thriller adaptation

Carl Franklin is set to direct “Emperor of Ocean Park” for Warner Bros. Pictures.

Novel, penned by Stephen Carter, was bought by the studio last year (Daily Variety, June 4, 2002). Screenwriter Stephen Schiff adapted the book, and WB-based John Wells and Gaylord Films will produce.

“Park” is a legal thriller about a black law professor exploring the darker corners of the life of his deceased father, a prominent judge.

John Wells will produce with Gaylord’s Hunt Lowry with Kristin Harms and Gaylord’s Stacy Cohen exec producing. Pic is being overseen at the studio by WB Pictures exec VP of production Kevin McCormick. As yet, no cast is attached to the pic.

Schiff previously adapted “Lolita” and “The Deep End of the Ocean,” as well as penning a draft of the Richard Gere/Diane Lane thriller “Unfaithful.”

Franklin, repped by the William Morris Agency, most recently directed the upcoming “Out of Time.”

His previous credits include Ashley Judd/Morgan Freeman pic “High Crimes,” “One True Thing” and the Denzel Washington starrer “Devil in a Blue Dress,” for Columbia TriStar.

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