Carl Franklin to direct ‘Maintenance’

Screen Gems adapting Baisden novel

Carl Franklin is set to direct “The Maintenance Man,” the Screen Gems adaptation of Michael Baisden’s novel about a gigolo in existential crisis.

Baisden, a syndicated radio host, wrote the script with Ralph Farquhar. Franklin’s Monarch Pictures partner Jesse Beaton is joining Farquhar and Dwayne Corbitt as producer.

The protagonist is a handsome Juilliard grad who puts his musical aspirations aside when he discovers he can make a fortune romancing married women. He gets tired of lying to a woman he’s fallen in love with.

Under president Clint Culpepper, Screen Gems has been aggressively programming urban-themed films, with “The Maintenance Man” ready to shoot later this year, a remake of “The Big Chill” on a fast track and the David E. Talbert-directed Ice Cube starrer “First Sunday” in production.

Franklin directed episodes of HBO’s “Rome” and will follow by helming segments of “The Pacific,” the WWII mini.

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