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Mel cuffs ‘Sam’ duo

Gibson taps scribes for felon friends tale

After Ned Zeman and Daniel Barnz penned “Under and Alone” for Mel Gibson at Warner Bros. Pictures, Gibson has tapped the pair to write another starring vehicle, Paramount Pictures’ “Sam and George.”

Story is about what happens when two lifelong friends renew their connection after one of them (Gibson) spends 20 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

Dean Georgaris sold “Sam and George” to Par in 2001 as a pitch, with Gibson attached to star and produce with the Donners Co. It languished, however, when Georgaris became busy with other projects.

Gibson is also attached to star in and produce “Under and Alone,” based on the true story of how ATF agent William Queen infiltrated a notoriously violent motorcycle gang. When Gibson read Zeman and Barnz’s script, he contacted Par prexy Tom Jacobson and requested that the writers be hired to revive the development of “Sam and George.”

Lauren Shuler Donner will produce the pic with Gibson and Icon’s Bruce Davey. Jacobson will oversee for Par.

For Columbia Pictures and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way Prods., Zeman and Barnz are also writing “The Man Who Loved Grizzlies,” based on Zeman’s May 2004 Vanity Fair article about Tim Treadwell, an environmentalist fatally mauled by the bears he wanted to protect.

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