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WB stays up ‘Past Midnight’

Warner Bros. has optioned the World War II novel “Five Past Midnight” by James Thayer, for Robert Lawrence and George Clooney’s Left Bank Prods.

“Five Past Midnight” tells the story of an American POW, interned in a concentration camp in the final days of WWII, who is ordered to escape by any means necessary and make his way to Berlin to assassinate Hitler. He is pursued by a disaffected German soldier, who is sent to hunt the American down, resulting in a showdown in Hitler’s bunker.

Thayer is the author of the 1995 novel “White Star,” which was optioned by Columbia Pictures. “Five Past Midnight” is due out in August, from Simon & Schuster. Another Thayer novel, “Man of the Century,” is due later this year from Donald I. Fine.

The novel was brought to Lawrence’s attention by Jon Furay and Mauel Wally, the duo behind the newly formed book scouting and production company headquartered in Gotham.

Thayer was repped on the deal by Jess Taylor of the New York-based Curtis Brown agency.

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