Kastner books ‘Madman’

Producer nabs rights to Katzenbach's thriller

Producer Elliott Kastner has acquired novelist John Katzenbach’s thriller “The Madman’s Tale” and will produce via his Cinema Seven banner.

Book was bought for a reported seven figures.

Gregory Read, who helms upcoming Weinstein Company release “Like Minds” has been attached to direct, while Katzenbach will pen the screenplay.

“Madman’s Tale” concerns an alleged rapist who takes refuge among inmates at an insane asylum, with the story told from the point of view of a mental patient.

Hawker Entertainment’s Jon Furay, who is co-producing Michael Douglas starrer “Indifference” for 2929, helped put the project together and is involved as a producer.Over a four-decade career in Hollywood, Kastner has been involved in a wide range of pics including “Where Eagles Dare,” “The Long Goodbye” and “Angel Heart.” He had stepped away from the business for more than a decade in what he thought would be a permanent move, but said he eventually realized he didn’t want to retire.

“It’s like being a prizefighter who still has a lot of creative energy but decides to quit,” Kastner said. “And then he’s seduced back.”

This marks Kastner’s second project since the hiatus; first was 2005’s “Opa!”

Screenwriting gig is first for Katzenbach, the acclaimed novelist who has had several of his thrillers brought to the bigscreen, including the Bruce Willis wartime mystery “Hart’s War” in 2002 and Warner’s 1995 release “Just Cause.”

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