Stockwell to pen, helm casino project

Twentieth Century Fox-based Regency Enterprises has netted scribe-helmer John Stockwell to rewrite and direct the casino drama “Chasing the Whale.”

Story is set in the world of high stakes casino gambling, in which “whales” — big betting players like billionaire gambler Kerry Packer — can lose millions on any given night. These star casino clients are hotly pursued (a practice known as “chasing the whale”) and handled by a harassed group of service professionals who compete for their business.

Original “Whale” script comes to Regency from Wayne Allen Rice (“Dude, Where’s My Car?”), with Rice producing the pic with Gil Netter (“Phone Booth”). More recently, “Monster’s Ball” scribe Will Rokos had rewritten Rice’s script, and Rokos’ take will now be rewritten by Stockwell.

Best known for directing teen dramas like Touchstone’s “Crazy/Beautiful” and U’s teen surf drama “Blue Crush,” Stockwell is currently working on the dramatic pilot “Rocky Point” for the WB; that skein, a teen coming-of-age drama set on Hawaii’s exclusive North Shore, is currently in contention for a midseason berth on the Frog net.

Regency senior VP Kara Francis is overseeing development of “Chasing the Whale” for production prexy Sanford Panitch.

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