Rob Cohen, Gene Kirkwood team on franchise about influential scientist

Rob Cohen is teaming with Gene Kirkwood (“Rocky”) to develop an action franchise based on the life of Sir Isaac Newton for new studio BiteSize Entertainment.

Cohen will write an original screenplay as well as guide the design of a graphic novel based on part of Newton’s life when he served as chief detective and head of the British Mint. Newton, born in 1642, was one of the most influential scientist who ever lived and credited with laying the foundations for most classical mechanics.

“I’ve wanted to work with Gene since we first met when I was at Motown in 1975,” Cohen said. “He was Interested in Billy Dee Williams to play Apollo Creed in ‘Rocky.’ That didn’t work out but I never forgot his intense belief in an unknown actor and his brilliant script.”

Cohen is in post on “Alex Cross” starring Tyler Perry and due out Oct. 26 from Lionsgate.

Kirkwood unveiled BiteSize Entertainment during Cannes with a slate including the dramedy “Mad Dogs and Englishmen,” starring Colin Firth as Noel Coward and a feature film on Rebekah Brooks, based on the Vanity Fair article “Untangling Rebekah Brooks” by Suzanna Andrews.

Cohen’s producing credits include “The Witches of Eastwick,” “The Legend of Billie Jean,” “Light of Day,” “The Running Man,” “Monster Squad” “Bird on a Wire,” “Ironweed,” and “The Hard Way.” Kirkwood’s credits include “New York, New York,” “The Pope of Greenwich Village” “Gorky Park,” “Ironweed,” “UHF,” “The Idolmaker” and “Get Rich or Die Tryin.”

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