Doug Aarniokoski to direct comedy spec

Screen Gems has acquired “The Black Phantom,” a spec comedy by first-time scribes Dave Lease and Megan Hinds. Deal comes with Doug Aarniokoski attached to make his directing debut.

Will Packer will produce under his Rainforest Films banner.

Aarniokoski was second unit director on the Screen Gems action film “Takers,” on which Packer is also producer. Packer sold Screen Gems prexy Clint Culpepper and creative exec John Graham on taking a shot with the first-time helmer.

In “The Black Phantom,” a double-crossed Caucasian mob hitman turns for help to an unlikely source: the title character, an African-American hitman who was hired to kill him.

Rainforest’s Rob Hardy will exec produce.

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