Falk takes ‘Wilder’ turn with TNT pic

'Made' actor will star in Stockwell-penned project

Peter Falk is set to star in TNT’s “Wilder Days,” the third pic to be greenlit as part of the cabler’s “Johnson & Johnson Spotlight Presentation” series of films.

Craig Anderson will exec produce the project, penned by Jeff Stockwell (“The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys”). Magna Global Entertainment and Viacom Prods. are producing.

Falk will play a cantankerous and ailing grandfather set on straightening out some tall tales for his grandson about his past work on a circus boat.

“Peter was the first person who came to mind for (the role),” said Michael Wright, TNT’s senior VP of movies and miniseries. “He knows how to do both intensity and whimsical at the same time.”

The five-time Emmy winner is largely known for his role as the bumbling Lt. Columbo in the eponymous series and recent ABC telepics, as well as his Oscar-nommed work in “Murder, Inc.” and “Pocketful of Miracles.” Thesp also appeared in “The Princess Bride,” “Corky Romano” and “Made.”

As the third film in the TNT-J&J franchise, “Days” follows last year’s “Door to Door,” starring William H. Macy, and “Miss Lettie and Me” with Mary Tyler Moore and Burt Reynolds. Johnson & Johnson’s sponsorship mirrors what cardmaker Hallmark has done for years with CBS’ “Hallmark Hall of Fame.”

“We’ve had great success with adult drama,” Wright said. “This balances great heart with humor. It’s moving, but not overly sentimental or mawkish.”

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