HBO Stax sked with pic from Whitaker, Pearce

Trio inks deal with pay cabler for 'Sweet Soul Music'

HBO is teaming with Forest Whitaker, Richard Pearce (“Law & Order: Trial by Jury”) and scribe Jason Horwitch (“Medical Investigation”) for an original movie revolving around the rise and fall of Stax Records.

Trio has inked a deal with the pay cabler to develop the project, based on Peter Guralnick’s book “Sweet Soul Music.”

Telepic will chronicle the birth of Stax Records, the 1960s-era music label that churned out a number of classics from the likes of Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Carla Thomas, Booker T. and the MGs, and Johnnie Taylor. Project will examine the birth of modern rhythm & blues and the racial tensions that resulted in the undoing of Memphis-based Stax.

Horwitch is writing the script to be directed by Pearce. Both will also serve as exec producers alongside Whitaker.

Whitaker next appears in Mark Rydell’s “Jump Shot,” in pre-production. He last exec produced and directed “First Daughter,” starring Katie Holmes.

Pearce is a co-exec producer on “Trial by Jury” and has helmed episodes of numerous TV series including “CSI: Miami,” “Party of Five” and “Homicide: Life on the Streets.”

Horwitch created and co-exec produces “Medical Investigation. He last wrote the original movie “Evel Knievel” for TNT.