Hot ‘Pursuit’ run down by MGM, Smith

Turner-penned pic to be o'seen by overseen by Jaffe

MGM has tapped Sheldon Turner to adapt psychological thriller “Pursuit” for the bigscreen, with Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment to produce. Smith will produce with Bob Wunch and may star in the film.

Turner has yet to get a project made but is set up with scripts all over Hollywood, including the 2004 Ashton Kutcher pic “Overtime,” at Warner Bros.; spec “By Virtue Fall,” at Paramount; spec adaptation “Up in the Air,” at DreamWorks and Montecito Film Co.; “The Booster,” at Intermedia; and “The Breathtaker,” with John Wells producing.

Book by prominent thriller writer Thomas Perry was released in 2001. It opens with the discovery of 13 bodies in a Louisville restaurant. A criminologist believes that a professional killer did the murders to cover a contract hit; he advises the father of one victim to call in an unscrupulous consultant who specializes in tracking down murderers, setting off a cat-and-mouse game between the professional killer and the professional hired to hunt him down.

Pic will be overseen by MGM exec VP of production Toby Jaffe and recently hired creative exec Erik Baiers.

Perry won an Edgar Award, mystery writing’s top prize, for his 1982 debut “The Butcher’s Boy.” Perry also wrote bestseller “Death Benefits” and five books based on the Jane Whitefield character, including “Vanishing Act.”

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