Tollin/Robbins Prods. has signed scribes Karen Croner and John Scott Shepherd to each pen a project for Paramount.
Croner (“One True Thing”) will write “Tulia,” which centers on a 1999 drug bust in Tulia, Texas, in which 10% of the town’s African-American population was arrested. Halle Berry will topline as an attorney from the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund (Daily Variety, Jan. 29).
The Tulia arrests produced neither drugs nor money, causing prosecutors and civil rights groups to denounce the bust as racial profiling. The undercover agent who conducted the bust was indicted for perjury, and most of the 46 arrestees were pardoned by Texas Gov. Rick Perry last year.
Shepherd will pen “Pennsbury,” which Tollin/Robbins is producing for Paramount and MTV Films. The project, based on Michael Bamberger’s book “Wonderland: A Year in the Life of an American High School,” focuses on Philadelphia-area Pennsbury High School’s lavish prom.
Shepherd’s credits include “Joe Somebody” and “Life or Something Like It.” He also was the creator and exec producer of the ABC television series “The Days,” produced by Tollin/Robbins.
Tollin/Robbins set up “Tulia” and “Pennsbury” while based at Paramount, then moved to Disney earlier this year.
The shingle recently wrapped on DreamWorks’ horse-racing film “Dreamer” with Kurt Russell and Dakota Fanning, and it teamed with MTV to produce basketball drama “Coach Carter,” set for release in January by Paramount.
Partner Brian Robbins will begin directing a remake shortly of “The Shaggy Dog” for Disney, with Tim Allen starring.