Ratliff to write, direct Beinhart adaptation

Mandalay Independent Pictures has acquired screen rights to “Salvation Boulevard,” the upcoming mystery novel by Larry Beinhart. George Ratliff will write the script and direct.

Mandalay will finance, produce and develop the project.

“Salvation Boulevard,” to be published in the fall by Nation Books, has a satirical bent targeting organized religion.

The story revolves around a private detective who investigates the killing of a professor. The exercise proves to be a clash of faiths: The detective is a born-again Christian, the dead man an atheist, the accused killer an Islamic foreign student and the D.A. is Jewish.

“The book uses a mystery to examine the religious process, the mega-churches and how they manipulate minds,” said Mandalay prexy Cathy Schulman. “It is tricky terrain, but George is a filmmaker with a distinguishable voice.

Beinhart previously wrote “American Hero,” which was adapted into the 1997 Hollywood-D.C. satire “Wag the Dog.”

Ratliff, who directed the thriller “Joshua,” covered the hard-line faith biz in the docu “Hell House.”

Mandalay Independent so far has made “Darfur Now” and “Never Back Down,” the latter about teen fight clubs in American high schools.

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