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Knee bends for ‘Beast’

Prod'n house picks up rights to mystery

A WoundedKnee Independent Films has picked up the English-language film rights to Fredric Brown’s mystery “The Lenient Beast,” with shingle co-founder Lance Doty set to direct.

Brown’s novel is a five-part narrative recounting the perfect crime from the perspective of five people. First published in 1956, it was released in paperback by Carroll & Graf Publishers in 1988. Doty will pen the screenplay.

A French version of “Lenient Beast,” directed by Jean-Pierre Mocky, was released in 2001. Several of Brown’s other works also have been adapted for the bigscreen in the U.S. and overseas.

“The component I appreciated the most about this material is the unhurried, sinuous manner in which the plot moves — it twists and turns without being obvious about its surprises the way so many movies do today,” Doty said.

Gotham-based WoundedKnee, a division of Homestead Editorial, has produced two other indie pics: “Noise,” penned and directed by Doty and starring Trish Goff and Ally Sheedy, and 9/11 drama “Beyond the Ashes.”

Doty is set to helm and write two other projects for the shingle, “Jacky Peek,” based on Tom De Haven’s novel “Jersey Luck,” and “Dead, Dead.”

WoundedKnee was launched in 2002 by Doty, Charly Bender, Greg Dougherty, Chris Hellman and Sam Welch.

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