Mutual, Pelagius ink ‘Greene’ deal

Film to star Lawrence as colorful ex-con

NEW YORK — Mutual Film Co. and Pelagius Entertainment have made a deal to develop the fact-based film “Petey Greene’s Washington” as a vehicle for Martin Lawrence to star in and produce with Mutual’s Mark Gordon and Pelagius’ Joe Fries.

Pic is the story of an uneducated but colorful ex-con whose humor elevated him from a life of poverty and addiction to a career as a celebrated radio talkshow figure in D.C. during the 1960s.

Lawrence, who opens today in the Fox comedy “Big Momma’s House,” discovered Greene’s story while he starred with Eddie Murphy in the comedy “Life.” Lawrence had been interested in doing the pic with “Life” director Ted Demme. Demme moved on to other things, and the project lay dormant until Mutual and Pelagius got involved in the film through Dewey Hughes, who’ll be a consultant on the project.

Mutual and Pelagius have pegged it as the first of several planned project collaborations. Mutual most recently produced with Centropolis the upcoming Mel Gibson starrer “The Patriot,” while Pelagius is a recently formed entity with planned projects in TV, film and the Web, with Fries, Joey Rappa and Ron Townsend the principals.

Lawrence is repped by UTA and the Firm.

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