'Potter' scribe in talks to direct legal thriller; Parent producing

Warner Bros. is in talks with “Harry Potter” scribe Steve Kloves to write and direct “Defending Jacob,” an adaptation of William Landay’s legal thriller.

Mary Parent will produce through her Disruption Entertainment banner.

Set in a wealthy Boston suburb, novel follows a district attorney who must leave his day job to defend his son from a murder charge while uncertain of his son’s innocence.

Landay’s tome has so far spent five months on the New York Times bestseller list and has been compared to novels “Presumed Innocent” and “Ordinary People.” Publishing rights for “Jacob” have sold in 17 countries.

Paramount-based Disruption, which Parent set up last year, has ramped up business with projects including Guillermo del Toro’s robots-vs.-monsters actioner “Pacific Rim” and New Line’s “The Watching Hour.”

Kloves wrote seven of the eight “Harry Potter” pics, and he worked on the script for “Akira,” as well as Sony’s “The Amazing Spider-Man.” He previously helmed “The Fabulous Baker Boys” and “Flesh and Bone.”

Lynn Harris will oversee “Jacob” for the studio, which is also in talks with Kloves to write, direct and produce WB’s live-action take on “The Jungle Book.” While deals are not yet signed, sources say “Jacob” would come first for the multihyphenate.

CAA reps Kloves, while the Martell Agency and Hotchkiss and Associates represented dramatic rights to the book.

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