Jeremy Irons is in talks to co-star in the pic, which is the directorial debut of “Tron Legacy” scribes Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal.
Irons is scheduled to attend the Berlin Film Festival for the international preem of his “Margin Call,” which is screening in competition.
Benaroya, Animus Films’ Jim Young and Serena Films’ Tatiana Kelly will produce while Rister and Elwes are exec producing the pic.
Filmula’s Johnny Lin is in negotiations to co-finance and produce “The Words” with Benaroya.
Klugman and Sternthal’s script was workshopped at the Sundance Screenwriters’ Lab and appeared on the Black List, the annual list of Hollywood’s unproduced screenplays.
Story follows a writer who, at the peak of his literary success, discovers the price he must pay for stealing another man’s work.
Parlay Films will handle international sales while domestic rights will be handled by Waterfall Media/Untitled.
Parlay will shop a slew of titles at the market this year, including Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon starrer “Arbitrage”; Amy Heckerling’s “Vamps,” starring Alicia Silverstone and Sigourney Weaver, which is in post-production; and “Red Lights,” starring Robert De Niro, Weaver and Cillian Murphy.
Completed titles on its slate include Keanu Reeves and Vera Farmiga starrer “Henry’s Crime” and “Little Murder,” toplining Josh Lucas and Terrence Howard.
Klugman and Sternthal are repped by ICM and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
Cooper and Irons are repped by CAA.