Catherine Hardwicke will develop and direct “The Monkey Wrench Gang” for Columbia Pictures based on Edward Abbey’s anti-establishment classic of the same name.
William Goldman is penning a new draft of the screenplay. Ed Pressman, Lloyd Phillips and Gary Burden are producing.
Story concerns a motley group of environmental warriors who wage mayhem against road builders and other developers in southern Utah.
Publication of Abbey’s novel in 1975 gave rise to a new generation of environmentalists who practiced “monkey-wrenching” — sabotage for the sake of saving the Earth.
“Its time has finally come to reach the screen. Public interest in environmental matters is high, and Abbey’s irreverent, anti-establishment humor feels in synch with the times,” said Pressman, who is producing via his Edward R. Pressman Prods.
Alessandro Camon will exec produce.
Hardwicke, who helmed “Thirteen,” most recently directed “Lords of Dogtown” for Columbia TriStar.
Pressman is one of the producers of the upcoming “Thank You for Smoking” and the Diane Arbus pic “Fur.”
Phillips produced Col’s upcoming “The Legend of Zorro,” starring Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones.