Studio inks overall deal with Monahan

Warner Bros. has made a first-look producing deal with William Monahan, the screenwriter who drafted the Hong Kong film “Infernal Affairs” into WB’s Martin Scorsese-directed crime drama “The Departed.”

Monahan has named his new company Henceforth and secured his first producing project.

WB has acquired rights to “The Gamblers,” a John Pearson true-crime book about the mysterious circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Lord Lucan, an English nobleman and member of a fashionable group of 1960s gamblers. Lucan vanished after his children’s nanny was found murdered.

It’s unclear whether Monahan will write the script.

Monahan is a former Spy magazine editor who wrote the novel “Light House: A Trifle” and adapted it for WB. Ridley Scott and producer Mark Gordon set him to draft the epic “Tripoli” as a Russell Crowe vehicle. That epic stalled, but Scott hired him to write “Kingdom of Heaven.” That led to scripting jobs on “The Departed” and “Jurassic Park IV,” which will be directed by Joe Johnston.

Warners has kept Monahan busy. He recently adapted the David Ignatius spy novel “Penetration,” which will be a directing vehicle for Scott, and “The Venetian,” in which Matt Damon will play the explorer Marco Polo. Monahan also adapted the Louis Begley novel “Wartime Lies” for WB.

“The Departed,” which stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg and Jack Nicholson, opens Friday.

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