Duo to adapt upcoming Dennis Lehane novel
Columbia and “Spider-Man” director Sam Raimi are reuniting on “The Given Day,” an adaptation of an upcoming novel by Dennis Lehane. Columbia has acquired the novel, and Raimi will develop it to direct.Raimi will produce with Josh Donen. Deal gives the studio another big project with Raimi, who after three “Spider-Man” films is eyeing a fourth installment currently being scripted by James Vanderbilt. Raimi is also aligned to reinvent the Jack Ryan franchise at Paramount. Books by the Dorchester, Mass.-born Lehane have proved popular for directors. Clint Eastwood directed “Mystic River,” and Ben Affleck made his directing debut on “Gone Baby Gone.” Martin Scorsese has nearly completed production on “Shutter Island,” with Leonardo DiCaprio in the starring role. “The Given Day” is set in 1919 Boston, with the city in turmoil as soldiers are returning home from WWI, having brought back an epidemic of Spanish influenza. Attempts to unionize the police department have set the stage for a historic strike and two cops take center stage.”While it deals with many of the same themes as (Lehane’s) earlier work, it is also his most ambitious book, tying events of a century ago to the subjects we struggle with today,” Raimi said. The book will be published by HarperCollins on Sept. 23. The “Given Day” deal was brokered by IPG’s Amy Schiffman and the Ann Rittenberg Agency.