2929 to finance, co-produce film

Michael Douglas will star in “Tragic Indifference,” a courtroom thriller based on a landmark liability case against Ford; 2929 Prods. will finance the film and produce with Douglas’ Furthur Films.

Douglas will play the attorney who took Ford to court on behalf of a single mother from Texas who was paralyzed and nearly died after an accident. The trial exposed the automaker’s indifference to flaws in its SUVs.

Stephen Gerard will write the script based on Adam Penenberg’s 2003 book of the same name, which 2929 has optioned.

Attorney Tab Turner, who’d won most of his liability cases in confidential settlements, was pressed to seek a public courtroom forum by Donna Bailey, whose Ford Explorer flipped in 2000. Turner not only won a gigantic settlement for Bailey, he also got his client her real wish: Ford brass came to her bedside to apologize.

Exec producing the pic will be 2929 principals Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban and prexy Marc Butan. Douglas will produce with David Arata, who developed the screen story.

“This gives me the chance to play a different kind of character. I played a lawyer once, in ‘Fatal Attraction,’ and there wasn’t much about the law in that picture,” Douglas told Daily Variety.

The project was brought to Furthur by producers Jon Furay and Manuel Wally, who’ll co-produce with Couper Samuelson. Douglas next appears in “King of California.”

Wagner and Cuban’s 2929 is shooting “What Just Happened?,” the Barry Levinson-directed Robert De Niro starrer, and the company has a Cannes debut set on “We Own the Night,” the James Gray-directed drama that stars Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg.

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