Lerner script follows cigarette boat inventor

Fox 2000 and director Tony Scott are teaming on a feature about Don Aronow, the inventor of the cigarette boat.

Scott intends to helm the film from a script Michael A.M. Lerner is penning. Scott Free will produce.

Aronow was a self-made millionaire businessman and powerboat racing’s world champ for 10 straight years. His cigarette boat became a favorite of Colombian drug smugglers looking to import their product into Miami in the 1980s. Aronow got a $20 million contract to build boats for U.S. Customs agents to catch the smugglers. He was eventually gunned down in 1987 in a mob-style hit in Miami.

Lerner teamed with partners Jeff Shapiro and Alan Hecht to option rights of Aronow’s surviving son, Michael. Shapiro and Hecht will be exec producers.

Scott will first direct Denzel Washington in a remake of “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three” for Columbia Pictures.

Lerner is a former Newsweek correspondent who wrote and directed the indie feature “Deadlines,” based on his experiences covering war in Lebanon.

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