Warner Bros. is launching development on a “King David” project, setting up the biblical story with Gulfstream Pictures’ producers Mike Karz and Bill Bindley.
It’s the second David project in the works in Hollywood. Variety reported in July that Fox, Chernin Entertainment and Ridley Scott were developing a movie focusing on the king of Israel following the battle of David and Goliath.
The studio has optioned movie rights to the recently published book “David: The Divided Heart” by Rabbi David Wolpe. Warner Bros. and Gulfstream are co-financing the project’s development.
The script is being written by Nick Schoenfeld. Owen Stanley is executive producing.
“David is the most complex hero and anti-hero in the Bible,” Wolpe told Variety. “He’s a man who was a warrior, a prodigy, a poet, a king who united the nation and a man close to God who sins. I cannot imagine a more cinematic figure from the Bible.”
Wolpe is the rabbi at Los Angeles’ Sinai Temple, where Karz has attended for several decades. The rabbi, who has written other books about religion such as “Why Faith Matters,” mentioned the “David” book to Karz after submitting it for publication.
Wolpe said that Kirk Douglas recently sent the book to all the members of the congregation.
Niija Kuykendall and Cate Adams are overseeing “King David” for the studio. Josie Rosen and Matt Phelps are overseeing for Gulfstream.
Book rights were repped by Nancy Josephson at WME and the David Black Agency.
Warner-based Gulfstream produced three comedies this year: “The Nut Job,” “Blended” and “The Fluffy Movie.”
Fox is releasing Scott’s Bible-based “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” starring Christian Bale, in December.
David was last portrayed in a major film by by Richard Gere in 1985’s “King David,” directed by Bruce Beresford.
News about the “King David” project was first reported by the Tracking Board.