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‘Map of Bones’ Movie Comes to Life at Lionsgate With ‘Black Panther’ Writer (EXCLUSIVE)

Lionsgate is bringing the James Rollins thriller “Map of Bones” to life with “Black Panther” writer Joe Robert Cole on board to pen the script, Variety has learned exclusively.

John Sacchi is producing for Lionsgate as part of his recent move from an executive into a producer post at the studio. Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen are also producing under their 21 Laps shingle.

“Map of Bones,” published in 2005, is the second of a dozen novels Rollins’ best-selling Sigma Force series, which combines historical figures and events and creates fictional thrillers that are centered around Sigma Force — an elite covert arm of the U.S. Defense Department made up of former Special Forces officers trained as experts in various scientific fields.

The “Map of Bones” story centers on the bones of the three Magi who paid homage to the newborn Jesus Christ. The story starts at a crowded service at a cathedral in Germany when armed intruders in monks’ robes unleash a nightmare of destruction.

Along with “Map of Bones,” Sacchi is continuing to work on projects that he started as an executive, while also pitching new projects to the motion picture and television groups, including the English-language remake of “Instructions Not Included”; action-thriller “Vanish Man” with Lee Toland Krieger (“Age of Adaline”) writing and attached to direct; and a movie version of the “Dork Diaries” book series with Mark Waters directing.

Sacchi is also working on a Lionsgate TV project based on “Rogues’ Gallery,” Michael Gross’ book about the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

Sacchi has a long track record in supervising Lionsgate films with exec producer credits on “The Last Stand,” “My Bloody Valentine,” “Punisher: War Zone” and “The Possession.”

Cole is repped by CAA. Rollins is repped by APA on behalf of Scovil, Galen, Ghosh Literary Agency.

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