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Schrader hoists up Crane biopic

Helmer guiding pic based on 'Hogan's Heroes' star

CANNES — Paul Schrader (“Affliction”) has been tapped to helm the Bob Crane biopic “Auto-Focus” for Propaganda Films and producers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (“The People vs. Larry Flynt”).

Schrader also will take a pass at the script, which was penned by Michael Gerbosi based on the Robert Graysmith book “The Murder of Bob Crane.”

Gerbosi’s producing partner is Todd Rosken, who gave him a copy of the Graysmith book after they met when tyro feature scribe Gerbosi was delivering food for Jerry’s Deli. Propaganda’s Pat Dollard will co-produce the pic.

“Auto-Focus” is the story of “Hogan’s Heroes” star Crane, a man trapped within a real-life version of “sex, lies and videotape.” With TV sitcom fame behind him, he became obsessed with taping his one-night stands. The then-novel video technology may have proved his undoing: To make up for Crane’s lack of knowledge, video tech Johnny Carpenter became Crane’s fellow latenight trawler. Crane was brutally murdered in 1978, his skull crushed with a camera tripod. Carpenter was accused of the crime, but with a lack of hard evidence was acquitted after an eight-week trial.

Rosken and Gerbosi negotiated the option through Graysmith’s reps at the William Morris Agency. Gerbosi’s reps at Dytman & Associates then approached Alexander and Karaszewski with an over-the-transom proposal that intrigued the duo so much that they also came aboard the project.

Schrader, like Alexander and Karaszewski, is repped by Endeavor.