‘X-Files’ team cracks pic case

Carter, Spotnitz to co-write futuristic Kerr adaptation

“X-Files” creator Chris Carter will direct thriller “A Philosophical Investigation” at Paramount, jump-starting the long-in-development Mace Neufeld project.

Carter and “X-Files” associate Frank Spotnitz have signed on as co-writers and will produce with Neufeld.

Based on the novel by Philip Kerr, story is set in the near future where genetic testing is mandatory to identify individuals predisposed to violence. Plot centers on a female Scotland Yard inspector who’s drawn into a cat-and-mouse game when a sociopathic computer expert finds himself on the list and decides to kill others on it.

Pic will be overseen by exec VP Brian Witten for Paramount and Kel Symons for Mace Neufeld Prods.

Neufeld and former producing partner Robert Rehme optioned “A Philosophical Investigation” more than a decade ago, when they were based at Par; it was only the second book Kerr had published. “This has been a real passion project for me,” Neufeld said.

He hopes the script will be ready in a few months. No casting has been set.

Carter and Spotnitz received “story by” credit for Fox’s “X-Files” feature in 1998 with Carter scripting.

Carter is currently adapting the book “The World of Ted Serios” and intends to direct at Dimension. Spotnitz recently penned “Doomsday Crossing” for Revolution and is co-writing and will direct a remake of “Star Chamber” for FX.

Neufeld’s track record at Par includes a quartet of Tom Clancy thrillers — “The Hunt for Red October,” “Patriot Games,” “Clear and Present Danger” and “The Sum of All Fears” — along with “Necessary Roughness,” “The Saint,” “Flight of the Intruder” and “Beverly Hills Cop III.” “There’s a real comfort level for me in working with Paramount,” he noted.

Neufeld’s attached as a producer on two films due out next year — Paramount Classics’ romantic thriller “Asylum,” starring Natasha Richardson and Ian McKellen, and “Sahara,” starring Matthew McConaughey, Penelope Cruz and Steve Zahn. He’s also working with Jonathan Mostow and Par on a remake of John Frankenheimer’s “Seconds.”

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