Untitled film will cover showman's early years

Columbia Pictures has acquired an untitled pitch from original “Moneyball” scribe Stan Chervin on the life of P.T. Barnum.

Todd Garner will produce through his Broken Road Productions banner.

Pic will cover the early years of Barnum, who rose from a shopkeeper to the charismatic showman who built the circus he called “The Greatest Show on Earth.”

Aside from being the first writer to adapt the Michael Lewis book “Moneyball” that is now being rewritten by Aaron Sorkin, Chervin scripted “J Mac” for Sony and producer Laura Ziskin. Pic is the story of Jason McElwain, the autistic high schooler who, after serving as team manager for his basketball team, was put into the waning moments of the season finale and promptly reeled off six three-pointers.

Garner just wrapped “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” for Disney, is getting underway on the MGM/Sony comedy “The Zookeeper” with Kevin James, and then follows with “Wichita” with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.

ICM and attorney David Colden rep Chervin.

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