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Kinnear, Graham get ‘Flash of Genius’

Universal to produce Abraham's debut drama

Universal Pictures and Spyglass have set Greg Kinnear and Lauren Graham to star in “Flash of Genius,” a drama that marks the feature directing debut of producer Marc Abraham.

Kinnear plays Robert Kearns, the inventor of the intermittent windshield wiper, who spent most of his life battling the Detroit automakers he charged with stealing his invention. Graham, plays Phyllis Kearns, who watches her husband’s obsession with legal retribution suffocate their marriage and put a strain on their children.

Production begins in July in Toronto.

Based on a New Yorker article by John Seabrook, the script was written by Phillip Railsback, Scott Frank and Abraham. Spyglass partners Roger Birnbaum and Gary Barber will produce with Michael Lieber.

“I bought the rights eight years ago and always hoped to direct it,” said Abraham, who runs U-based Strike Entertainment. “This is a David vs. Goliath story, but I liked the fact that what Kearns fought for was almost whimsical and (it shows) the high cost someone can pay for refusing to compromise their dignity.”

Kearns, who died two years ago, eventually got a multi-million dollar settlement.Spyglass is financing the film and will control certain overseas territories while Universal distributes domestically.

Jon Glickman, J. Miles Dale, Abraham’s Strike Entertainment partner Eric Newman and Tom Bliss will be exec producers.

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