WB finds man for ‘Machine’

Joanou to helm remake of Reynolds starrer

Warner Bros. has tapped Phil Joanou to helm its remake of cop actioner “Sharky’s Machine” and set it up with Basil Iwanyk’s Thunder Road to produce. Project is a potential starring vehicle for Mark Wahlberg, who is exec producing with Stephen Levinson for Leverage Management.

Burt Reynolds directed and toplined the 1981 Warners pic, based on the novel by William Diehl.

Updated version will vary in places from the original and likely won’t be set in Atlanta. Story revolves around a tough homicide cop who is demoted to the lowest of the low, the morals squad. He rallies together a ragtag group of cops who successfully take down a man who rigs elections.

Remake was set up two years ago, with Jerry Stahl penning the script. Scribes Doug Miro and Carlos Bernard have since done a rewrite.

Joanou (“Heaven’s Prisoners,” “Final Analysis”) most recently directed Columbia’s “The Gridiron Gang,” set for release in September.

Thunder Road, which produced Harrison Ford starrer “Firewall” for Warners, is currently shooting sports drama “We Are Marshall” for the studio.

Leverage, a talent management and development firm founded by Levinson whose client list includes Wahlberg, produces HBO series “Entourage.” Levinson and Wahlberg are exec producers of the show.