Co. to develop story as psychological, political thriller

Jerry Weintraub Prods. has optioned Atlantic Monthly national correspondent Mark Bowden’s October cover story “The Dark Art of Interrogation” to develop as a feature film for Warner Bros.

Article investigates the Guantanamo Bay interrogation rooms and other locales where American agents and their allies are using questions, coercion and possibly torture to gather intelligence and thwart terrorism.

Bowden is the author of six books, including “Black Hawk Down,” which became a Ridley Scott film grossing more than $100 million for Revolution Studios, and “Killing Pablo,” which Joe Carnahan will direct for Paramount. He also recently optioned to the FX Network an Atlantic Monthly feature on the daily life of Saddam Hussein before the fall of his regime.

Mark Vahradian, president of Jerry Weintraub Prods., brought the project to the shingle with Weintraub exec John Tantillo. Company plans to develop the story as a psychological and political thriller in a vein that’s similar to “Crimson Tide” and “In the Line of Fire.” Project was bought using Weintraub’s discretionary fund.

“The idea is to do this as a character-driven, high-stakes, high-tension thriller that focuses on a mano-a-mano battle and test of the wills,” Vahradian said. Pic will be developed at WB by exec David Baubaire.

Weintraub is in pre-production on a sequel to “Ocean’s Eleven,” to be directed by Steven Soderbergh.

Bowden, repped by ICM, adapted his own prose journalism into screenplays for “Killing Pablo” and “Black Hawk Down,” but will not write the “Interrogation” script.

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