United Artists taps helmer for 'River' adaptation

United Artists has hired Peter Horton to write and direct “Coal River,” an adaptation of the Michael Shnayerson book.

Paul Haggis is producing through his Hwy 61 banner.

The book by the Vanity Fair contributing editor focuses on a legal battle between environmentalists and the coal industry among Appalachian communities in West Virginia.

The actor-turned-filmmaker is exec producer and director of NBC’s “The Philanthropist” and exec producer of the CW’s “Body Politic.”

He has directed episodes of series including “Dirty Sexy Money,” “The Shield” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Horton’s repped by WMA.

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