Lehane to the ‘Rescue’

Author will finally make his bigscreen writing debut

Bestselling author Dennis Lehane is set to tackle his first bigscreen project by adapting his own short story “Animal Rescue” for Fox 2000.

Peter Chernin is producing the pic through his Fox-based Chernin Entertainment.

Lehane’s novels consistently attract A-list directors, including Clint Eastwood (“Mystic River”) and Martin Scorsese (“Shutter Island”). Though he has been approached to write for the movies, Lehane has turned down all offers until now. The Boston native’s only previous foray into writing for the screen was a stint as a scribe for the HBO series “The Wire.”

Story revolves around a killing that results from a lost and contested pit bull. The story appeared in the Akashic Books anthology “Boston Noir,” which Lehane also edited.

After stepping down as News Corp.’s No. 2 exec last June, Chernin set up his production company and has quickly assembled a slate of high-profile projects that include a “Planet of the Apes” prequel and a “Daredevil” sequel. Chernin, who has a seven-figure development fund, enjoys two put pictures per year and a first-dollar gross draw.

Other Lehane books adapted for the screen include the Ben Affleck-helmed pic “Gone Baby Gone” and novel “The Given Day,” which Sam Raimi will direct for Columbia Pictures.

He is repped by Intellectual Property Group.

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