New Line hopes project will begin lensing in fall

Billy Bob Thornton will star in “Mr. Woodcock” for New Line Cinema and director Craig Gillespie.

Thornton will portray the title character, a flat-topped nightmare of a high school gym teacher. One of his charges grows up to become a successful motivational author and comes home secure that he’s overcome his demons — only to discover that Mr. Woodcock is now dating his mom and hasn’t lost his torturous touch.

Original script by Michael Carnes and Josh Gilbert is currently being rewritten by Josh Sternin and Jeffrey Ventimilia. New Line hopes for a fall start.

Bob Cooper’s Landscape Entertainment is producing the pic. Brian Inerfeld and Karen Lunder are co-producers. New Line’s Kent Alterman, Michelle Weiss and Keith Goldberg oversee the project.

Thornton recently wrapped “The Ice Harvest” and “Friday Night Lights.” He’s repped by CAA and managed by Media Talent Group.

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