Wells takes pitch by ‘Elliot’ scribe

Hall to pen 'Burying Ben;' Harms, Wells to produce

NEW YORK — Oscar-nominated “Billy Elliot” scribe Lee Hall has made a preemptive deal for his next project with John Wells Prods.

Based on a pitch, JWP has bought “Burying Ben,” with Hall to begin writing immediately. Kristin Harms will produce with Wells.

Plot centers around a self-made millionaire who, following his son’s suicide, winds up having an affair with the son’s girlfriend.

“We were drawn to the universal appeal of Lee’s take on the connection between love and loss,” said Harms. “He has the unique capacity to examine the hardships of life with both humor and sadness.”

Royal ‘Hope’

The CAA-repped Hall most recently adapted “The Good Hope” for the Royal National Theater, with the play bowing later this fall.

While the Warner Bros.-based JWP is best known for its small screen prowess, the feature division has been growing as well.

The company is in post production on “White Oleander,” which stars Michelle Pfeiffer, Renee Zellweger and Robin Wright Penn, to be distributed by Pandora and WB.

JWP’s also in post on “Double Down,” the drama written and directed by Neil Jordan which stars Nick Nolte and will be distributed by Alliance/Atlantis.

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