Lawton makes ‘Monster’ deal at WB for Burroughs novel

NEW YORK — Screenwriter J.F. Lawton has made a deal at Warner Bros. to adapt the 1910 Edgar Rice Burroughs novel “The Monster Men” into a feature, which will be produced by Gary Goldstein.

WB preempted the film before other studios had a chance to hear the pitch. For option rights to the book, as well as Lawton’s writing and Goldstein’s producing services, WB has ponied up a seven-figure sum. That increases if the studio ultimately purchases the book and makes the movie.

Lawton, whose credits include “Pretty Woman” and “Under Siege,” read the book as a boy and always wanted to turn it into a film. Goldstein, Lawton’s former business partner, worked for a year tying up the rights from the Burroughs estate.

In the book, a scientist/professor in the jungles of Burma becomes obsessed with creating the perfect man with perfect genes. Unlike Frankenstein, he creates several beings: The first six turn out to be hideous monsters, but the seventh is a physically perfect man.

The scientist’s daughter falls in love with the guy, who teams with his lab brethren to rescue his love when she’s set upon by bad guys in the jungle.

Lawton was repped by William Morris’ Sara Bottfeld, Rob Carlson, and Robert Stein. Attorney Sam Fischer repped both Lawton and Goldstein. Attorney for the Burroughs estate was David Nochimson.

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