Pacino eyes ‘Sea’ with Caton-Jones

Police drama based on true kidnapping-murder case

Al Pacino and Michael Caton-Jones are readying to move to the “City by the Sea” for Warner Bros.

The star and the director are in serious talks to come on board the police drama, which Brillstein-Grey Entertainment’s Brad Grey and Matthew Baer will produce.

“City” is based on a true story that was originally written up in Esquire magazine by Mike McAlary. WB and Brillstein-Grey optioned the material in late 1997 and put Ken Hixon to work on a screenplay. Warner Bros. VP Michael Andreen is overseeing the project for the studio.

The article and the pic are based on the true story of Vincent LaMarca, whose father was executed in the 1950s for kidnapping an infant and leaving it to die.

Many years later, LaMarca — now a police officer — is heading a murder investigation and discovers that his own son, Joey, committed the crime. The detective, who is haunted by his father’s death and his own corrupt past, seeks redemption by saving his son.

Although neither Pacino — who would play the role of LaMarca — nor Caton-Jones’ deals are done, sources indicated that they ought to be tied up shortly. Caton-Jones is planning to supervise the next draft of the script.

Pacino’s upcoming pics include Oliver Stone’s “Any Given Sunday” for WB, and Michael Mann’s “Man of the People” for Disney. Caton-Jones last directed “The Jackal” for Universal and Mutual Film Co.

CAA reps Caton-Jones and Pacino.