John Grisham baseball novel picked up by 1492 Pictures

Chris Columbus has come onboard to produce and direct John Grisham’s “Calico Joe” from his own script via his 1492 Pictures, which has acquired the feature rights to the novel.

“Calico Joe,” set in the world of Major League Baseball, was published on April 10 by Doubleday and debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list.

“When I finished this beautiful, deeply moving novel, I immediately started to see the movie in my head,” Columbus said. “I knew that I had to write and direct ‘Calico Joe.’ The story deals with universal themes of betrayal, tragedy and redemption.”

Grisham will exec produce, and Columbus will produce with his partners, 1492 Pictures president Michael Barnathan and Mark Radcliffe.

Columbus and Barnathan were producers on “The Help.” Columbus directed, as well as produced with Barnathan and Radcliffe, the first two installments of the “Harry Potter” franchise and served as producers on Columbus-directed projects “Nine Months,” “Rent,” “Stepmom,” and “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.”

Banner 1492 is producing sequel “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters” and is also slated to produce an adaptation of 2010 Norwegian thriller “Troll Hunter,” as well as a screen adaptation of Michael Koryta’s “The Cypress House,” which Columbus will write, and a remake of the Korean films “Hello Ghost” and “Temple Stay” with director JK Youn.

Columbus and 1492 Pictures are repped by WME. Grisham is repped by David Gernert of the Gernert Co.

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