Helmer on U’s ‘Case’ with Hanks

Prod'n to begin next year on murder mystery

Universal Pictures has set Mark Romanek (“One Hour Photo”) to direct and Eric Roth to adapt “A Cold Case,” the fact-based drama that will star Tom Hanks.

Pic is being readied for a possible production start next year, when Hanks’ schedule clears up after he completes starring for Steven Spielberg in “Terminal” at DreamWorks.

Bought by Playtone when it was a New Yorker article, “A Cold Case” concerns Gotham District Attorney’s chief investigator Andy Rosenzweig. Before he retires, he vows to solve the 27-year-old murder of a friend, even though the case couldn’t be colder. It is a crime that has haunted him his entire career.

Hanks, who is producing with Playtone partner Gary Goetzman, will play Rosenzweig.

Philip Gourevitch turned the article into a book that was published last year.

Romanek made the jump from videos to feature films on “One Hour Photo,” the Fox Searchlight drama that starred Robin Williams.

Deal reunites Hanks with Roth. Last adaptation they worked together was the Winston Groom novel “Forrest Gump.” It won Oscars for Roth, Hanks, director Robert Zemeckis and as best picture.

Hanks just completed the Playtone-produced “Polar Express” for Zemeckis.

Both Romanek and Roth are CAA-repped.

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