Helmer in talks to direct Disney's Coast Guard drama

Tim Van Patten, who has helmed episodes of HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” “Game of Thrones” and “The Sopranos,” is in talks to direct Disney’s Coast Guard drama “The Finest Hours,” based on the bestselling book by Casey Sherman and Michael Tougias.

Plot revolves around a daring 1952 Coast Guard rescue of 84 men off Cape Cod after two oil tankers collided and were torn in half by waves during a fierce blizzard. Film adaptation was penned by Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson, who also wrote “The Fighter.”

“Finest Hours” would be Van Patten’s first feature. His credits also include HBO’s “Sex and the City,” “The Wire,” “Deadwood,” “Empire,” “Rome” and “The Pacific,” as well as NBC’s “Ed.” Marvel Studios also recently turned to HBO vet Alan Taylor (“Game of Thrones”) to tackle “Thor: The Dark World.”

Jim Whitaker and Dorothy Aufiero will produce the pic through their Disney-based Whitaker Entertainment banner, recently behind “The Odd Life of Timothy Green.” They also have “Unlimited” and “Hexum” set up at the Mouse House.

Whitaker brought the project to Disney after Tamasy and Johnson pitched the film adaptation to the producer based on interviews they conducted with survivors from the incident. Soon after, Disney optioned the book in summer 2011, and paid the scribes high six figures to write the script. Book was first published in 2009.

The rich deal was brokered by Verve with Gotham Group’s Ellen Goldsmith Vein and Michael Prevett.

Van Patten is repped by CAA.

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