Car designer's story envisioned as crime thriller

Alex Holmes has been tapped to steer a biopic of car designer John DeLorean that Time Inc. Studios and XYZ Films will produce.

Holmes, who most recently wrote and directed the HBO and BBC miniseries “House of Saddam,” developed the DeLorean script with co-writer Rob Warr. They had previously collaborated on the BBC TV series “Dunkirk.”

The DeLorean film will tell the story of how the auto industry maverick’s glamorous life came crashing down when he was caught in an FBI drug trafficking sting, only to be acquitted on grounds of entrapment.

Holmes envisions the pic as a crime thriller with a tragic hero at its heart.

“As a kid, John DeLorean seemed an almost mythic figure to me. His dreams brought him head to head with both the British and American establishment, and they destroyed him,” Holmes said.

The producers behind the pic are working closely with DeLorean’s son Zachary DeLorean, the executor of the DeLorean estate. Film is also based on the carmaker’s unpublished memoirs, articles from Fortune and Time, as well as Hillel Levin’s book “Grand Delusions.”

Time Inc. Studios prexy Paul Speaker; XYZ partners Nate Bolotin, Nick Spicer and Aram Tertzakian; and Tamir Ardon, who is also producing a docu on DeLorean, will produce the pic. Time Inc. Studios is the video and film production arm of Time Inc.

The project is racing to get to the bigscreen before other DeLorean pics, including one from Brett Ratner that James Toback is scripting and Robert Evans is producing, and another from David Permut based on life rights from DeLorean’s longtime attorney, Mayer Morganroth.

“There are other producers out there trying to make a movie about my father,” said Zachary DeLorean, “but this is the only one I’m standing behind, and the only one the DeLorean estate is allowing.”

Holmes is also adapting Robert Mazur’s book “The Infiltrator,” about Pablo Escobar and the Medellin Cartel, for 2929 Prods., and will write and direct “The Interpretation of Murder,” based on Jed Rubenfeld’s novel, for Warner Bros. and Paula Weinstein.

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