Brandt, Haas to craft 'Tradesman'

Michael Brandt and Derek Haas, the scribe duo behind “2 Fast 2 Furious” and “Catch That Kid,” will remake Belgian cop thriller “An Honest Tradesman” for Focus Features. Brandt will make his directing debut on the pic, Haas will produce, with both penning the script.

Original French-lingo pic, “Un honnette commercant,” which was shown at the 2002 Montreal Film Festival under the title “Step by Step,” centers on the psychological battle between a drug kingpin and police investigators after a brutal murder. In the course of the interrogation, the story emerges of how a mild-mannered tax inspector morphed into a ruthless crime figure.

Remake rights were acquired by Focus execs Amy Kaufman and Kahli Small, who will oversee the production.

“Our biggest goal has always been to make our own films,” said Haas. “We admire the quality of the work Focus has shepherded and we feel fortunate to be asked to work with them.”

Brandt said, ” ‘Tradesman’ is the perfect calling card for us. Cool, smart, hip — pretty much all the things we aren’t.”

Duo are locking down financing and distribution for production of their original screenplay, “Miamiland,” which Brandt will helm and Haas will produce.

Brandt and Haas also are penning the remake “3:10 to Yuma” for helmer James Mangold and producer Cathy Konrad at Columbia Pictures. Lions Gate is developing one of the duo’s specs, “The Photograph.”

Scribes are repped by William Morris and Andrew Dean at Industry Entertainment.

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