Warner catches WWII 'Lies'

Warner Independent Pictures has inked a pact with John Wells Production to turn the Louis Begley WWII novel “Wartime Lies” into a feature film.

Screenwriter William Monahan (“Kingdom of Heaven”) has been hired to adapt the book, which had at one time been in development with helmer Stanley Kubrick as a project called “Aryan Papers.”

Story of “Wartime Lies” follows a young Jewish boy and his aunt who witness but escape the slaughter in the Warsaw Ghetto by posing as Catholic Poles.

Begley is best known for having penned the novel “About Schmidt,” adapted by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor in 2002′s New Line pic.

Development on “Wartime Lies” is being supervised by WIP’s exec VP of production, Michael Andreen, and Laura Holstein, JWP’s exec VP of features.

Monahan also penned Martin Scorsese’s forthcoming Warner Bros. pic, “The Departed,” which stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg and Jack Nicholson. He also penned the spec script “Tripoli” for Ridley Scott at Fox and co-wrote “Jurassic Park IV” at U.

Wells’ most recent pic credits include Andrzej Bartkowiak’s “Doom,” currently in post-production at Universal Pictures. Based on the popular videogame, “Doom” stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Also on tap for Wells: Warners’ spring release of “Duma,” a children’s film by Carroll Ballard with Hope Davis and Campbell Scott toplining.

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