The Weinstein Co.’s Harvey Weinstein has set screenwriter Richard Regen to adapt the Jeff Abbott novel “Panic,” with Richard Shepard to direct.
Weinstein Co. bought rights last summer to the espionage thriller, which revolves around a documaker who’s summoned home by his mother, only to find she’s been slain, Dad is missing, and he’s being shot at. As he unravels the mystery, he learns his whole life was a lie, his parents were agents, and even his girlfriend might be part of a conspiracy plot.
“We have a very stylish 1970s-type paranoid action thriller on our hands,” Shepard said. “It’s exactly the type of studio movie I want to be doing aside from my own material: something that’s smart and visually inventive.”
Regen, who most recently wrote for Bill Mechanic a drama based on the true heist tale of Heather Tallchief, will write “Panic” while Shepard heads off to next direct his script “Spring Break in Bosnia” this summer for Warner Independent and producers Mark Johnson and Scott Kroopf.
Shepard, who directed “Matador” for the Weinstein Co., has a pilot-directing deal with Touchstone and is helming the pilot “Ugly Betty” for ABC and producers Ben Silverman and Salma Hayek.
TWC co-prexy of production Michael Cole will shepherd the Shepard pic with execs Eric Robinson and Brendan Deneen, the latter of whom brought in the book.